The day has finally arrived. Your teenaged son or daughter looks at you with enthusiasm and excitement as they announce that they passed their driving test. Prepare them beforehand, as teenage driving is not just about freedom. It bears a great responsibility towards one’s self as well as other people and property.
- Related: The Ford Safe Driving Program
The Season to Let Go and Let Live
Suddenly, you as a parent feel a gnawing fear in your stomach and your hands begin to sweat. You muster up a bright smile, proud of your teen for passing the road test, but inside you’re a mess.
The emotions are overwhelming. You are happy for your teenage child but are also stressed at the same time.
Once an innocent baby in your arms is now ready to drive on her own. The hardest part is facing the reality that they are growing up fast and will soon be leaving home.
But before handing over the keys, it’s important to make sure they are safe behind the wheel.
Talking About Teenage Driving
Every parent needs to have a talk with their teenager to driving alone for the first time.
Make sure that you explain that driving is both a privilege and a responsibility towards themselves and society. There are risks involved, such as the possibility of injuring others or destroying property if they are not careful.
Secondly, make sure that they understand traffic rules and regulations. Remind them that their focus should be on the road. No cell phone use, loud music, or friends are allowed inside the car as these are distractions for a student driver getting used to the car and the road. They’re also not allowed to drive over the speed limit, drink alcohol, or use drugs.
If your teenager is still a minor, you can also have conditions like allowing him or her to use the car in exchange for good behavior or achieving minimum grades in school at your discretion.
What You Can Do
Meanwhile, here are the things that you can do from your end in order to make sure that you teenager is safe and covered.
Update Your Insurance
Adding a young driver to your car insurance policy is simple. However, you may be surprised at the cost that can also easily eat up your annual family budget.
It doesn’t really matter whether your teen will drive a car, truck, or motorcycle. The insurance rates will be high due to their lack of experience and skill. They are considered high-risks for the insurance company.
One way to lower the annual insurance fees is to buy a separate policy for your teen with an older vehicle. Then place your newer cars on a policy for you and your spouse alone.
Before putting your teenage driver behind the wheel, it’s essential that you have the vehicle serviced to make sure that everything is working well.
Brakes should be working properly, the wipers are sufficient, and that the tires have tread and appropriate air levels. New drivers are unlikely to be able to recognize if something is wrong.
When the Car Breaks Down
Since a car is a machine, it may break down at some point.
Before they experience car break downs on their own, it’s wise to address these possible scenarios ahead of time to review. The most common tasks that they should be able to do is to replace a flat tire.
They should also know what to do.
First, make sure that they know that the car must be completely off the road for their safety and the safety of other drivers. Second, if a tire needs changing, make sure they know how to do that on their own. Check if they have the necessary equipment in the trunk.
While your teenager may be very anxious to put the keys in the ignition and show off their ability to drive, he is still new to driving and only has a few miles under his belt.
Initially, it is a smart move to limit their travel. At first, the car should only be brought to the school and back at home. If they are working part-time, then they may be able to bring the car to work.
Or maybe the can run errands to the nearby supermarket. But as for long road trips, it is best to let them do that when have sufficient experience. And the first time, it is best that there is adult supervision. Or, you can have a family road trip.
Dealing with an Accident
A parent’s biggest fear is when your teen will get into an accident.
Unfortunately, many teens do get into accidents within their first year of driving. Let’s face it. They simply don’t have enough experience with driving in traffic plus their mental capacities are not yet fully developed.
Their quick judgment on braking and sudden moves to prevent hitting other cars is still lacking.
If your teenager figures in road mishap (that is hopefully a minor one), you should advise them to contact the authorities immediately.
They should remain inside the vehicle until the authorities arrive. Make sure that they have saved emergency numbers on their mobile phone.
After that, they should also contact you to let you know about the incident.
Set a Good Example
For the most part, most teenagers look up to their parents. This is not only limited to driving per se.
So you better set a good example every time you get behind the wheel. Now that they drive, the habits your display as well as your attitude on the road will be mimicked by your child.
Handing over the keys of a car to a newly licensed teen is never easy. However, if you have done all the necessary measures, then your worries will certainly be diminished.