How to Keep Your Teen Safe Driving On New Year’s Ever
Is Your Teen Driving on New Year’s Eve?
When you were a teenager, you thought that you were a great driver; you know better today. Unfortunately, your teenagers think like you did back then. Now that the holidays are in full swing, it’s the season to share your experience of a lifetime behind the wheel. Preaching and scare tactics don’t work, so how can a parent make their children listen? The trick is making the message easier to hear. Give them practical demonstrations, real-world tips, and let them know that you care. Remember, you were their age once upon a time.
The Season Is Distracting
Your teens are already tuned into the holiday buzz. Are they also tuned into their iPods while they navigate busy streets? Do they chat too much with their friends on the way to the mall? How can you make them understand the dangers of distractions? Show them, and make it interesting. Drive your area and explain that they win if they can spot five landmarks during a half-hour trip. They have to keep the ear buds in and keep talking to you. You’ll win this one and make your point. End your practical lesson by explaining that it’s not about the landmarks. Remind your teen that it’s about pedestrians that dart through the light, other cars that pull out suddenly and not watching your speed while driving. It’s easier to have a serious conversation once you’ve made your point.
The Weather Is Frightening
Make sure that you’re behind the wheel for your teens’ first winter driving experience. Explain the effect of heavy rain on the car’s brake system. Ask them to estimate stopping distances on wet pavement and then show them the real facts online. You don’t want to teach them how to steer out of an icy skid in a real situation. Park the car, put those teen hands behind the wheel, and make them go through the motions. Even if your teenagers are already licensed to drive, there’s no substitute for a professional driving course. Many driving schools offer special classes for teens that include hands-on accident avoidance and real-time scenarios. You’ll double up on the benefits; your teenagers will be safer drivers, and your insurance rates will go down.
The Spirits Are Tempting
How do you make your teenagers understand the dangers of driving under the influence? Start by setting an example. They look up to you, and they really do care what you think. They need to know that one call to you is all it takes to get them home safe. Understanding that you’ll be supportive and not angry makes a big difference. Explain to them that jail time is real. Go online together, and look at the penalties for DUI and vehicular homicide. Make them understand that an arrest derails college applications and career plans. Teenagers aren’t naive, and they understand risky behavior. Don’t preach to them; teach them the facts. Have more than one conversation about the dangers of DUI, and make it clear that trust runs both ways.
Keeping your teens safe behind the wheel is a vital part of your job as a parent. Get involved, stay there and always be open. Share your tips, reserve your judgement and show your love. It’s the holiday season, so give your teens every chance to be safe behind the wheel. It’s a gift that you will all treasure for life.
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