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teen driving safety

The statistics are sobering: in the US, teen drivers are involved in 900,000 crashes annually. With distractions like smartphones, peer pressure, and limited experience, young drivers face significant risks on the road.

As parents, we all want the best for our teens, especially regarding their safety. Equipping your teenager with the knowledge and skills to become a safe driver is not just a matter of convenience – it’s a critical responsibility.

Fortunately, by teaching teen driving safety strategies, you can help them gain the confidence and skills to be responsible and safe drivers for life.

This blog gives you some excellent safe driving tips and advice to empower your teen, so keep reading to learn more.

Urge Seatbelt Use

The first thing you can do when teaching teen driving safety is strongly insist on seatbelt use for everyone in the car. Seatbelts are one of the most effective ways to prevent injuries and death in a car accident.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), wearing a seatbelt reduces the risk of death in a car crash by 45% and the risk of serious injury by 50%. When teaching your teen about seatbelt safety, be sure to emphasize the following points:

Drive Defensively

Another thing you can teach during your driving instruction is defensive driving. This means paying attention to the surroundings and other drivers. Paying attention is crucial to have enough time to react to a potential situation. 

You also want to encourage safe driving skills, such as keeping a following distance with the car in front of you of 3- to 4-seconds (longer in poor weather). This will allow you time to brake and not collide with them if they slam on the brakes. 

Additionally, explain to your teen they should never depend on other drivers. For example, if your lane is merging with another, don’t assume the person in the lane over will give way to you. 

In other words, always anticipate the worst-case scenario. This will help you react faster when the time calls.

Set a Good Example

You must set a good example to encourage your teen to have good road safety skills. It’s no use telling your teen, “Don’t do what I do, do what I say,” because they won’t listen. Instead, show them that driving safely is important by following the road safety guidelines you teach them.

Teenagers are more likely to engage in risky driving behaviors if they see their parents doing the same. For example, if you drink and drive or don’t use your seatbelt, your teen is more likely to do the same. Being a positive role model can influence your teenager to adopt lifelong safe driving practices.

Limit Nighttime Driving

Navigating the roads after dark presents unique challenges, particularly for new drivers who still need to develop night vision. To ensure your teen’s safety, consider limiting their driving hours. 

For instance, setting a curfew of 9 pm can reduce the risk of encountering intoxicated, reckless, or distracted drivers. As the night progresses, the likelihood of such encounters increases, amplifying the potential for accidents involving your teen. Setting specific driving hours can help reduce the risk of accidents and make nighttime driving safer for your teenager.

Discourage Distractions

Distractions while driving are a significant cause of accidents. In 2021, 3,522 Americans were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. Many different types of distractions can occur while driving, including:

Any of these distractions can take a driver’s attention away from the road, leading to accidents. Twenty-four states have already passed laws against using a hand-held cell phone while driving – and some states, like New York, have also banned talking on a cell phone while driving unless using a hands-free device.

These laws can help to reduce the number of distracted driving accidents.

Never Drive While Tired

Driving while tired can lead to fatal consequences. Experts found that of the drowsy-driving accidents reported in 2021, 684 were fatal. When you’re tired, your reaction time is slowed, your judgment is impaired, and your ability to focus is diminished.

These driving dangers can make driving more difficult for your teen to drive safely. As such, ensure they understand that operating a vehicle is never safe when tired. Encourage them to get plenty of sleep before driving and to pull over and take a break if they start to feel drowsy.

Enroll Them Into a Teen Driving Program

Some states require teens to have a Graduated Driver’s License (GDL), a multi-step licensing process that allows teens to gain driving experience over time. A graduated licensing program typically includes classroom-, behind-the-wheel training-, and supervised driving components.

Teen driving programs can help your teen learn the rules of the road, develop safe driving habits, and gain experience behind the wheel. These programs can also help parents feel more confident about their teens’ driving abilities.

If your state does not require a GDL program, you may still want to consider enrolling your teen in a teen driving program. These programs can provide valuable training and support to help your teen become a safe driver.

Get Passionate About Teen Driving Safety Guidelines

Teaching teen driving safety habits is vital for your young driver’s well-being, including the safety of others on the road. By focusing on defensive driving techniques, reducing distractions, and being a responsible driver, you can empower your teen to navigate the road confidently and safely.

Are you looking for a driving school in New York for your teen? At Pierre Paul Driving School, we specialize in automatic driving lessons for teen drivers around Brooklyn.

Our lessons are designed to empower young drivers with the skills and expertise needed to navigate the roads safely and confidently, ensuring a record free of collisions and traffic violations. Book now.