New Teen Driver In The House? Here's How To Maximize Their Safety While Behind The Wheel

Partly due to lack of experience and skills, the leading cause of death among people between 15 and 20 years old is motor vehicle accidents. And teens tend to get distracted easily while behind the wheel, especially when the radio is on or passengers are in the car. While it is impossible to shadow your teen wherever they go to help keep them safe, there are some things you can do to maximize their safety while they're behind the wheel and on the road. Here are five effective options to consider implementing:

Invest in Driving School

One of the best ways to protect your teen while they're on the road is to invest in ongoing driving classes for the first few months after getting licensed. A professional driving school can provide your teen with valuable information and resources, as well as give them plenty of practice time behind the wheel. This ensures that your teen knows how best to avoid accidents and how to drive defensively on the road. Driving school also provides insight into how accidents and other emergencies should be handled if a situation arises.

Create Some Road Rules

It's also important to put some rules in place that should be followed when your teen is out on the road on their own. For the first few months, it's a good idea to restrict driving at night when other vehicles and road signs are hard to see. You may want to limit or restrict the number of passengers your teen can drive around at one time to minimize distractions while they're behind the wheel.

Wearing a seat belt should also be a part of the rules, and it's not too much to ask that your teen finds a safe place to pull off the road for a phone call home once an hour to check in. Write the rules down and treat it as a contract, with both you and your teen signing it so that its seriousness is not overlooked. You can even install car surveillance cameras if you want to keep a close eye on what your teen is doing and whether or not they're following all of the rules.

Have Weekly Meetings

Holding weekly meetings with your teen will give them an opportunity to discuss the previous days' instances on the road and to ask any questions they might have about things like right-of-ways and turning right when the street light is red. These meetings will also give you a chance to go over the driving rules, and maybe even to offer a reward (like movie tickets) for practicing all of the rules and staying safe on the road during the week. Weekly mini-meetings are also the perfect time to discuss future plans for road trips, vehicle upgrades, and other anticipations your teen might have.

Be a Passenger Once in Awhile

A great way to gauge how well your teen is doing behind the wheel is to hitch a ride with them once in awhile. Ask for a ride to the store, or head to an event together and let them take the reigns the whole way. You'll be able to determine how their skills are developing, and whether or not they are picking up any bad habits, like keeping the radio volume too high, that need to be curbed for optimal safety. As a passenger, you'll probably be clued in to whether or not your teen has been following the road rules that you have put into place.

With the help of these tips and tricks, your teen can have plenty of driving freedom without forgetting about the importance of safe driving and making responsible decisions. For more information, contact local drivers education companies.