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6 ways parents can protect teen drivers

On Behalf of | Dec 4, 2020 | motor vehicle accidents

You remember the days your son or daughter first learned to walk. It seems like yesterday, but now your child is a teenager and soon will get their Ohio driver’s license. You’re a bit scared to think about how you can keep your child safe as a new teen driver.

What can you do protect them in those first years behind the wheel? Here are 6 ways you can help protect your teen’s safety as a new driver:

  1. Teach your teens defensive driving techniques. Your teen will need to practice driving with you as they prepare to get their driver’s license. You can teach them important defensive driving techniques, such as
    • Always stay alert, watching your surroundings and other drivers.
    • Keep a three- or four-second rule when following another vehicle.
    • Don’t assume other drivers will stop for a red light or allow you to merge.
  1. Avoid distracted driving. You need to set an example for your teen and not drive while using your phone or eating or putting on makeup while driving. In 2018, 9% of all teens who died in car accidents were involved in distracted driving accidents. Also, drivers 15-19 are more likely to be involved in deadly distracted driving accidents than any other age group.
  2. Have a zero-tolerance policy for drunk or impaired driving. Let your teen know, maybe even by signing a contract, that if they drink and drive or drive while impaired because of drug use, you will revoke their driving privileges.
  3. Help your teens learn to take care of a vehicle. You want your teen to know how to change a flat tire, check their oil and fill their windshield wiper fluid or put antifreeze in the radiator. With this knowledge, they can stay safer if the car breaks down or a warning light switches on.
  4. Limit the number of passengers in while your teen is driving. For the first year, you can request that your teen only transport one or two friends at a time. Having more friends in the car can lead to more distractions.
  5. Create a plan for if your teen is involved in an accident. Go over what to do with your teen in case they are in an accident. Maybe leave a reminder list in your vehicles so they know they should first call police, not admit fault and then call you if they are involved in crash.