Teen driving is a major concern for every parent and road responsibility should be a major facet of preparing your child for this level of independence. It is important to talk to your kids about driver safety both before and during their formal training courses, and to then keep that conversation rolling as they venture out on their own. Helping your child feel prepared by sharing your experiences and advice will help them to build the confidence that every conscientious driver needs. Pair road safety conversations with conversations about the responsibilities of owning a vehicle and you will be setting them up to retain more during their training classes and have a solid foundation under them for the times they are behind the wheel without you riding shotgun.
Even if your child will not have his or her own dedicated vehicle it is important that they know the basics about being responsible for one. Everyday things that experienced drivers do as second nature will not be to a new driver, so start simple and then work your way up to more advanced lessons. You can review an online blog resource from tirekickers.com that discusses cars together so that the experience is interactive as opposed to you preaching to them a checklist of items.
Fuel level, tire pressure, emergency brake switch, these are examples of baseline elements related to vehicle responsibility that will not only give your child a strong skill set, but also ease your mind as the parent. Finding the sweet spot between accepting this next stage for your child and feeling comfortable having them out on the open road alone can be a challenge for most parents, these conversations are just as important for you as they are for them.
Sharing the Road
You probably do not need to employ military level scare tactics when discussing how dangerous driving can be but be sure that your new driver understands that they are sharing the road with tons of other motorists, bikers, and pedestrians. Distracted driving is a common cause of accidents but is also completely avoidable. Cell phones, the radio, friends in the backseat, these are all realistic distractions your teen will face, and it is your job to educate them on the consequences of indulging those temptations.
While driving laws and rules are pre-set and non-negotiable, you should also take the time to discuss the rules and expectations, they will face that are specific to your household. Discussing topics like financial contributions to driving, curfews, and vehicle accessibility in advance of them receiving their license will draw clear boundaries on both sides and give your child a chance to understand what will be expected of them when that day comes. Creating excitement around this milestone is just as important as all the tough topics. Getting a driver’s license is one of the first rites of passage your child will experience so although reading them the riot act is important do not discount the positive effects of letting them shine through this process as well.