Studies show that new teen drivers are especially at risk for being in accidents. As a parent, there are steps you can take to encourage your teen to drive safely.
1. Practice advanced driving scenarios. Here in the State of Washington, a teen must complete 50 hours of supervised driving as part of their licensing requirement. Other than designating that 10 of those hours are driven at night, the rest is left up to the guardian. We encourage you to get your teen driving beyond your neighborhoods. As their skill level increases, have them tackle freeways, rainy weather, and downtown roads. Get them comfortable navigating their vehicle in a variety of situations. Not only will this build their confidence, but it will also build your comfort level when it’s time to pass them the keys.
2. Consider added courses or classes. Beyond the basic driver’s ed, did you know there are other classes your teen could take? One option is a course called teenSmart. This online course provides advanced defensive driving training. Some insurance companies will reward your teen for completing the course by offering a policy discount. Make sure to ask!
3. Use a teen driving app. An app such as Life360 can track your child and even offer insights about their driving, such as their speed. This can be an objective way to measure how safe your child is on the roads.
4. Set your own boundaries. In addition to the State-imposed restrictions on an intermediate license, you can impose your own, too! Set strict rules about where your teen’s phone should go when they’re driving. Create guidelines about passengers, curfews, and routes.
Those first weeks and months behind the wheel are critical for your teen. Research shows this is when they are most likely to cause a crash. Do all you can to help your teen become a safer driver. Remember, they’ll be contributing to making the roads safer for all of us.