For your teenager, getting a driver’s license means more freedom. But for you as a parent, your teen getting his or her license is cause for concern since the rate of teen car accidents and deaths is so high.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, in 2019, 2,375 teenagers died in car accidents. Although you cannot always control your teenager’s driving behavior, you can encourage safe driving with the following strategies.
1. Set a good example
Whether or not you notice, your teenager watches you when you drive and will likely follow your example. Be a role model for safe driving behavior by following the rules of the road, maintaining your composure behind the wheel, wearing your seatbelt and never texting and driving.
2. Provide ample time to practice
Driving is like any other skill that takes time and practice to get better at. Give your teenager plenty of time to practice driving in a variety of driving conditions. For example, take your teenager to drive with you in rain, at night, on the freeway and in crowded traffic conditions.
3. Enroll your teen in a driver’s education course
A driver’s education course can be a helpful way for your teenager to improve his or her driving skills. If your child cannot take driver’s education at school, look to other community resources to find one of these classes.
Most importantly, set clear boundaries for your teenager relating to driving. Ask your teen for his or her input about these rules and expect him or her to follow them.