It seems as though just last week you brought your newborn home from the hospital. Now he or she is ready to drive a car.
The thought of sending your child out onto the road alone can terrify parents. Here are three tips to help ease your mind as your teenager begins to drive.
1. Talk about the importance of safety
Though it may seem intuitive to you as an adult, your teen needs to hear to talk about driving safely. This includes ensuring all passengers buckle up before putting the vehicle into gear. Additionally, talk about the dangers of distracted driving. Talking or texting on the phone causes about 3,000 deaths annually, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
2. Discuss the dangers of driving while intoxicated
Remind your minor that drinking before the legal age of 21 can have serious consequences, especially if he or she decides to drive. The harsh reality is that teens could kill themselves or their friends by driving drunk, so make sure your child understands that.
3. Set and enforce a curfew
Though some states impose curfews for younger drivers, parents can and should set them as well. In addition to the risk of your teenager driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol at night, there is also the chance that other drivers on the road have partaken in drink or drugs.
There are no guarantees in life, but following simple safety guidelines and openly discussing the potential ramifications of actions could help your teen drive safely.