How to Talk to Your Kids About Safe Driving

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JLP Staff

Parenting /

Thinking of your teenagers on the road can be scary. But if you prepare them well, you'll feel more comfortable letting the kids take the keys. There are several situations you need to prepare teens for when they start driving. Use the following tips to talk to your kids about safe driving.

Being Cautious

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It's important for teens to understand the risks that come with driving. Many teens don't fully realize the dangers that can develop on the road. In fact, due to driving inexperience, teens are more likely to be involved in a car accident compared to other drivers. Make sure your teen knows just how critical it is to be cautious on the road.

Driving Under the Influence

Kids hear over and over that they should never drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. However, it's important to make sure your kids also know how dangerous it is to be a passenger of someone who is under the influence. Make sure that your child understands that both situations are equally dangerous and tell them how to react when faced with the prospect of getting in the car with an intoxicated driver.

Texting While Driving

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Teens are especially susceptible to the dangers of texting while driving. In fact, there are about 11 teen deaths every day due to this reckless behavior. When approaching this topic, ask your child to pull over when a text is truly important. In addition, you can choose a phone that allows for hands-free texting to reduce the temptation to type when behind the wheel.

Seat Belt Use

Teens often think they're invincible. This leads to dangerous behaviorsincluding not wearing seat belts. The CDC reports that teens have the lowest rate of seat belt use compared with other age groups. Besides the potential for being ticketed, it's important to emphasize this driving precaution to your teen for safety reasons.

Other Tips

While alcohol, texting, and seat belts are main issues for teen drivers, parents should be careful to cover other potential hazards with their kids. That includes reckless driving, distracted driving, and driving while drowsy. Give your kids tips for avoiding these situations, like calling you for a ride when they feel tired or worry about riding with a friend who is too wild on the road.

Tips for a Successful Talk

Parents may not be able to broach all these topics at once. However, it's important to make sure each discussion gets through to your kid. Here are some ways to make sure that your driving lessons make an impact:    

  • Be involved: Make sure you know when and with whom your teen is on the road. Keeping a close eye on them encourages more responsible behavior.     

  • Be positive: Teens respond best to positive reinforcement. Make sure to let them know what they're doing well and what behaviors you're proud of.     

  • Be a good example: Be the kind of driver you want your kid to be; setting a good example is the strongest way to influence a teen.         

Your child's safety takes priority over everything else. That's why it's so important to discuss these safe driving tips with your teen.

Categories: Parenting, Teens & College
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