This post has been sponsored by SheSavvy and The National Safety Council www.nsc.org. All opinions about teen driving safety for Global Youth Safety Month are all mine.
My daughter has had her permit now for over a year. She is not in any hurry to get her drivers license because she feels like she needs a little more experience with driving before she accepts that responsibility and privilege. Did I mention that she is 18 years of age? She is wise beyond her years when it comes to teen driving, and I think that stems from the things she has experienced in her life as a teenager.
A few years ago, she had a really good friend who died in a tragic car accident. It really shook her up about driving. Then, two years ago, she herself was involved in a fender bender while riding with a friend.
Those instances has shown her that driving is a huge responsibility and she does not take it lightly. She wants to make sure she is 100% ready for the road before getting behind the wheel on her own.
Some would call it fear of driving, but I call it knowing your limits and being proactive about driving. There are a lot of road rules that she has not memorized yet and she wants to make sure she knows them all before setting out on her own.
If only other teens would take driving this seriously, because car crashes are the #1 killer of teens these days.
As a parent, my job is to encourage and teach her about driving behavior and etiquette. If I drive correctly, she is watching me and will drive correctly also.
For example, we were driving the other day down the road and a funeral procession was coming towards us. Now, I have taught my daughter that in respect to that family, drives pull off the road and turn on their headlights.
All of a sudden, a teen driver sped past us and blazed on down the road. To me, that is just not acceptable. Where was the parent when this child was learning to drive? It’s our job to teach and encourage our teens to embrace the correct driving rules.
So what rules have I instilled in my teens during their learning years?
- No driving on highways or interstates until you learn to drive on the back roads in your town.
- No cell phones while driving. If you must make a call or accept a call, do it once you pull off.
- Put your music on BEFORE you pull out of the driveway.
- Be aware of all of your surroundings.
- Never transport more than one friend at a time when you are out driving. The reason for this is because other teen passengers are one of the biggest distractions for teen drivers. Just one teen passenger raises a teen driver’s fatal crash risk 44 percent. Two passengers doubles fatal crash risk. Three or more quadruples crash risk.
- Always obey the laws of the road.
- Seat belts are a must — no exceptions. More than half of teens killed in car crashes were not restrained by a seat belt.
- Call or text when you are headed home, especially when driving at night.
For more info about teen driving, be sure to visit DriveitHome.Org
For me, the last one is a major rule in our home. The reason for that is because I know how long it takes for my teens to get home when they are out. My daughter does not have this issue right now, but my son does this and it is wonderful.
The reason I have them do this is because if there is an accident or they are stranded, I will know immediately because they are not home in the amount of time it takes to drive from point a to point b.
Most fatal nighttime crashes involving teen drivers happen between 9 p.m. and midnight.
My son and my daughter both know how important it is to always practice the road rules and driving. Even though my son has had his license for several years now, to this day, he never answers my call when he is driving. He does not text while driving and he doesn’t mess with the radio.
He says that he does not like to be distracted while driving because he does not want to cause someone else harm because of his short comings.
Parents! Stay involved with your teen’s driving experience. Even AFTER they get their license, practice with them and set rules in your house that are stronger than the state’s GDL law.
Tell other parents about this and encourage your teen to share this program with others.