Protecting the Injured,
Every Step of the Way

How parents can help their teens stay safe behind the wheel

AdobeStock_116089288.jpegCar accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers across the nation. While the rate of fatal car accidents involving teens has been slowly decreasing over the years, there is no doubt that teens still face a significant risk whenever they get behind the wheel.

But there are measures that Georgia parents can take to teach their children and help them become safe drivers. Here are a few essential tips parents should consider:

1. First, set a good example

It is critical that parents demonstrate safe driving and behavior. Most teenagers look to their parents as examples they can follow. So, parents must make sure that they:

  • Always wear their seat belt
  • Follow all traffic laws
  • Keep both hands on the wheel
  • Drive defensively

When parents practice safe driving techniques, it is more likely that teenagers will as well.

2. Practice with them behind the wheel

Schools usually provide driver education courses and even behind-the-wheel training. However, there is no such thing as too much practice.

It can be beneficial if parents take the time to practice driving with their child behind the wheel. This can help them understand the rules of the road.

3. Make sure they understand the consequences of distracted driving

First of all, driving distracted is illegal in Georgia. Parents can discuss the legal penalties of distracted driving with their children to deter them.

However, more importantly, teenagers must understand the dangers that result from distracted driving. This can be a tough subject to discuss with teens, but it is better to have a tough conversation than suffer a life-changing injury.

What if it is not your child behind the wheel?

Parents can do everything in their power to help make their own child a safe driver. But what about their child’s peers?

Once teenagers obtain their driver’s license, they want to enjoy the freedom of driving where they wish, especially with their friends. And some of those teens might drive recklessly–or worse, drunk.

Peer pressure can be difficult to handle. Therefore, it is just as important to help teens be safe and smart passengers too. Parents should make sure their children understand they can speak up if they do not feel safe. Families can even set up a pick-up plan, just in case, to prevent teens from riding with unsafe drivers.