Updated: Aug 31, 2022
After getting their license, the time has finally come for your teen to get behind the wheel for the first time by themselves. While this is an exciting rite of passage and a gateway to freedom for them, it can be super nerve-wracking for you. With thousands of fatal teen auto accidents occurring every year in the U.S., it’s crucial that you teach your teenager safe driving habits to keep them safe.
That’s why the experienced technicians at Crush Customs have put together this handy teen driving safety checklist. Here are five ways to protect your teen driver.
1. Teen Driving Safety Tips
Firstly, it’s important to prepare your teen for different driving scenarios, including driving at night, in rush-hour traffic, and in the rain. Consult with your teen’s driver’s ed instructor to learn what skills your child has already mastered. Work with them to hone the driving skills they’re still having trouble with.
Additionally, ensure their car is packed with the proper safety essentials in case of an emergency. Your teen should always carry the following items in their vehicle
First aid kit
A basic car tool kit
Flashlight with extra batteries
Lastly, make sure your teen knows basic car mechanics, including changing a tire, checking their oil levels, maintaining proper air pressure levels, and windshield wiper fluid.
2. Safety Features
While you might not want your teenager to drive a brand-new car, their vehicle should be equipped with advanced safety features. Don’t let your teen drive a lemon. A few safety features to look for in a car for your teen driver include:
Anti Lock brakes
Lane-keeping assist and lane-departure warning
Traction and stability control
Real-time Drone GPS monitoring w/collision alerts, geo-fencing, speed monitoring, maintenance reminders, a real-time battery life indicator, and curfew alerts
In-Dash Camera for recording collisions and traffic stops
These advanced safety features will protect your teen in the event of a car collision.
3. Teen Driving School
Even though your teen already completed their driver’s ed class, additional training never hurts. Private driving instruction classes and other programs generally provide a total of six hours of on-the-road training. However, your teenager needs to accumulate at least 50 hours of daytime road time and 15 hours of nighttime driving to become a proficient driver.
Most states significantly reduce the number of teenage driving accidents with graduated drivers’ license programs (GDL). During these classes, teen drivers are restricted from certain activities, including having passengers in their car, driving while unsupervised, and driving in the dark. If your state does not offer a GDL program, institute your own policies to keep your child safe.
4. Talk to Your Teens
Not only should you be teaching your teen how to drive safely, but you should also be talking to them about proper driving habits. Have an open and honest discussion about the dangers of drunk driving and driving while distracted. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the majority of auto accidents are caused by distracted drivers. Distractions can include texting and noisy passengers.
Tell your teenager to put their phone on the ‘do not disturb’ mode while they’re driving. Their safety is far more important than a social media post or texting with a friend.
Furthermore, make sure your teen deeply understands the dangers of driving under the influence. While many teens feel immortal, driving drunk or high can lead to serious consequences. In 2020 alone, 29% of drivers ages 15 to 20 were killed in crashes while driving under the influence. Though you don’t condone it, tell your teen to call you or a rideshare service if they choose to drink.
5. Lead By Example
Instill safe driving habits in your child by being a good role model. If you drive recklessly or suffer from road rage, your teenager might imitate your behaviors. Always wear your seatbelt, maintain a safe following distance behind the vehicle in front of you, don’t drive distracted, and always stay cool, calm, and collected.
6. Remote Drone Monitoring
Parents can monitor their teenage drivers remotely and ensure their safety behind the wheel by installing remote starts or remote drones on their cars. A remote drone allows you to track your teen’s driving habits remotely in real-time, including the top speed of their car, geo-mapping, and more.
Crush Customs is happy to be a leading provider of these solutions in Marietta, Georgia. Our team can also outfit your teen’s car with a dash cam to record potential incidents that could affect their driving score and insurance premiums, such as being pulled over for traffic violations or a fender-bender.
The Bottom Line: Safe Driving Habits are Essential for Teens
Teens mature at different rates. Your child might not be as mature as some of their peers to get behind the wheel. Before you let your teenager drive, really take their maturity and responsibility levels into consideration. If you think your teen will text and drive, get nervous, or is a risk taker, putting their driving on hold might be a good idea.