Driver’s training is an exciting adventure for any teenager. Most kids look forward to getting their license from the time they are very small. Although it can be a stressful experience for parents, it’s important to be involved and communicate regularly with teens even before they begin driver’s training.
1. Talk to your kids about the appropriate rules to follow when driving a car.
In this day and age, technology is a constant in almost every person’s daily routine. Undoubtedly, your teen is very comfortable with a cell phone and other electronic devices. Begin modeling and talking to your child about what is appropriate and inappropriate when it comes to using electronics when driving. Don’t answer your cell phone or look things up on the Internet when driving. Make sure your child knows that under no circumstances is it okay to use a cell phone when behind the wheel. Patty Robinson Smith suggests that parents start talking to kids about these guidelines by at least age 13.
Many kids are under the impression that once they complete driver’s training and receive their permit, they are experienced drivers. This is far from the case. Driver’s training instructors are simply there to explain the basics of operating a motor vehicle. They do not have the time with each child that it would take to teach about all of the distractions that are involved with driving. Author and teen driving expert, Timothy Smith, explains that it is the job of the parents to get involved and equip their child with the skills needed to become safe drivers. Statistics show that when parents are involved and driving with their children more, it decreases their odds of getting in an accident by one third.
3. More kids are killed in car accidents then by drugs, alcohol and suicide combined.
Kids need to understand just how dangerous operating a car can be, especially for an inexperienced driver. Smith tells parents that car related deaths are usually not “accidents,” but rather operator errors that are preventable. Car accidents can and should be avoided. The more trained a driver is, the less likely he will be to make a careless mistake or panic when presented with a dangerous situation. When parents and children work together, they can eliminate the risk of accident a great deal. Many parents make the mistake of believing that just because a child receives a license, he is prepared to face any challenges that might appear on the road.