When you bring a new baby home, it’s easy to be flooded with worry.  Will the baby stay healthy?  Am I feeding the baby enough?  Do I have enough money to support my family?  Days, months, even years pass, and though the worries may change, they are always still present.  Fast forward sixteen years and your baby’s now ready to drive a car.  Then the worry REALLY begins. Although this is a very uncertain, often anxious time, there are tips you can teach your teen driver to avoid pitfalls new drivers fall into and make it a less worrisome time for you both.

 

Keep Practicing

Many teens (and parents) assume that just because they passed the driving test at the DMV means that they are now expert drivers ready for the road.  Wrong!  The driving test is very basic and often does not cover things like defensive driving, highway driving, or driving in dangerous weather conditions.

A driver’s education training program is well worth the investment because it will give your teen driver further instruction hopefully in various weather conditions and environments to broaden their experience.  Furthermore, many insurance companies will offer discounts for teen drivers who complete driver’s education training.

 

Set Ground Rules

Statistics show that most fatal teen driving accidents occur between the hours of 9 p.m. and midnight.  Consider restricting driving for your teen after 9 p.m.  Also, consider limiting the number of passengers your teen is allowed to transport, particularly those of the same age.

Many parents even insist on a responsible adult being in the car at all times for the first year or more that their teen is driving.  Setting strict ground rules may help protect your teen from a senseless accident as a result of late night driving or distracted driving with too many passengers in the car.

 

Keep Up The Grades

Good students often make better drivers as well.  Students who are conscientious in their school tend to follow suit in their driving abilities as well.  Demand good grades from your teen as a prerequisite to driving.  This leverage may help to boost his grades because he will be motivated to do well.  As an added bonus, many insurance companies offer good student discounts for teen drivers who maintain a certain GPA.

 

Put The Phone Down!

Studies show that texting while driving is potentially more dangerous than drinking and driving.  The bad news is:  most of us do it, especially teens.  Look around any restaurant and you will see that teens are completely engulfed in their cell phones.  If they can’t put them down for a meal, they are not going to put them down while driving either.

There are many apps now available that prevent texting while drivingDriveSafeMode, for example, prevents texting and emailing while driving and can even alert a parent if the driver turns the app off while driving.  Stress to your teen the dangers of texting while driving.

 

Safety First

When choosing a car for your teen driver, be sure safety is at the top of your list.  Many teens will naturally want the “cool” car, which usually is fast, topless, and small.  Avoid the temptation to give into your teen here.  Research cars that have the highest safety ratings, airbags, antilock brakes, and electronic stability control.  These factors will go a lot farther to keep your teen safe in the event of an accident than will a shiny red convertible.

 

Be A Good Example

As with any expectation set by a parent, the parent must also be a role model by abiding by the same rules.  If you ask your teen not to use a cell phone while driving, it is important that your teen also sees you following that same logic.  Children, regardless of how old they are, will instinctively follow their parents’ example.  Following the rules of the road while driving, not engaging in road rage behaviors, and avoiding distracted driving yourself will go a long way to instill those same values into your teen driver.

 

It’s a scary time letting your child go off on his own onto the open road.  Hang on tight…it’s going to be a bumpy road!  Sometimes, despite how much you have prepared them and given them the tools to be safe, things happen.  Accidents happen.  If your teen driver has been involved in an automobile accident, you may consider filing a diminished value claim on the vehicle.  If you need assistance with such a claim, the attorneys at Ohio Diminished Value can help to make the process as smooth as possible.
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