While worrying about our children seems to be something that comes with the job, seeing them roll out of the driveway with their own driver’s license is an entirely different story. There are, after all, other drivers on the road who may cause an accident – or your kid may have rowdy and distractive passengers in the backseat.
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Talking to your teenager about your biggest worries when they’re out on the road could help to calm your mind a bit, however, and may even be what they need to become slightly more focused when they’re out and about.
Here is a handful of the most important topics to discuss with your teen and to keep in mind before they’re able to drive on their own. It just makes it a bit easier to relax and put your feet up, knowing that you’ve raised a responsible driver after all.
#1 Teenagers and distracted driving
You probably know very well how easy it is to get a bit distracted when you’re driving. A text message pops in, somebody turns the radio on its loudest and sings to their heart’s content in the back seat, or you’re just trying to eat your breakfast quickly before you arrive at work. Distractions are many and, as a driver, they’re definitely all around you.
The trick is, of course, to learn how you can still keep your attention on the road and not let all of these little things take your mind off what’s important. As a teenager, this is definitely a bit harder and it’s no wonder that distracted driving is the main cause of accidents among young people.
Talking to them about this, on the other hand, is an important part of being aware of the dangers and mature enough to realize what may cause them to become distracted. Let them know that it’s alright to tell their friends in the back seat to calm down a little and that pulling over is way better than experiencing an accident.
You can have a look at this article as well, by the way, if you need some more details on teenagers and distracted driving before you have a chat about it.
#2 How to handle an accident
While it would be way better if they never had to experience one at all, it’s always a good idea to go through the steps and talk about what they should do in case something should happen. It’s about the safety of other drivers on the road, after all, and it could save them from a costly lawsuit as well as long as they managed to keep track of all the details.
Make sure that they have the numbers to your insurance company as well as an auto accident lawyer. Keep in mind that they need to know what to do in case they should be hurt on a motorcycle as well, by the way, if your teenager has obtained a license to drive a bike.
While they would have learned all about this while taking the courses to get their license, it’s a good idea to repeat it a few times so that you can feel confident that they’ll remember it.
#3 Set a good example
Finally, your teenager is only going to be as good of a driver as the example you set for them – and you need to focus on being a good coach, in general, while they’re learning to drive. Focus on safe driving, above all, and remind yourself that you can positively influence your kid’s behaviour behind the steering wheel.
In other words, if you’re often glancing over at your phone while driving or making phone calls when you should have your attention on the road, you can feel quite confident that your teenager will do the same. It doesn’t really matter if you tell them not to do it either; just like you, they’ll find an opportunity for it when they think nobody’s looking.
Being a parent means that you need to adjust your own behaviour to reflect what you’d like to see in your child. Encourage them when you notice that they’re driving in a safe and responsible manner and make sure that this is their number one focus when they finally get their driver’s license.
It is, after all, not much more you can do when they’re able to drive around on their own – but with these tips, you’ll be able to feel a bit more confident about their adventures on the road.