Once your teens get their driver’s licenses, you want them to practice safe driving techniques as they hit the roads independently.
Being a safe driver is more than obeying the laws; it is actively making good choices. Follow these tips to ensure your teens know how to be safe drivers.
1. Lead by example
Before your children reach driving age, they watch what you do behind the wheel. Be a role model to your kids when you drive. As they become drivers themselves, they often copy what you do. Every time you drive, set an example by:
- wearing a seatbelt and requiring all passengers to wear theirs at all time
- not using your cell phone while driving
- obeying the posted speed limits
- maintaining a safe stopping distance
2. Create a driving contract together
Your teen drivers need to understand your expectations of safe driving and the consequences of not following them. One way to do this is by writing a contract specifying your rules. Together, discuss the ramifications of breaking the agreement. Consider the following:
- limiting the number of passengers in the car
- mandating no cell phone usage while driving
- allowing teens to drive only during daylight hours
3. Provide extra practice
According to the CDC, driver inexperience is the leading cause of car accidents involving teen drivers. While Minnesota requires a minimum of 50 hours of supervised practice to obtain a driver’s license, additional time in the car with a supervising adult is beneficial. The added training gives teens more opportunities to use safe driving techniques, making these good habits a regular part of their driving routine.
Setting safe driving expectations from the start creates lifelong safe drivers.