If you have a teen who has just gotten their driver's license, you may be anxious about their safety while on the highway. Thanks to having experienced driving yourself, you can appreciate that it takes practice to be able to confidently and safely drive on the highways, and here's how you can talk to them about it.
Help Them Choose a Safe Car
Road safety starts with a safe car. While they may be interested in flashy aesthetics over function and stability, explain to them that a safe car is much better for long-term use. If they often drive as most teens with a license do, they will be better off driving a safe car that's got good roadworthiness. With sheet metal currently accounting for around $30 billion in revenue for the United States, there is no shortage of cars to choose from. Help your teen do research on the best choice of a car they can make so they can stay safer on the highways.
Lead With a Good Example
Your teen is still taking many life lessons from you, so you can help them out a lot more by leading with a good example. Rather than tell them things that you don't do yourself, set a standard that you will be able to uphold. Doing this will help them see the importance of doing what you ask them to and so they will follow in your footsteps. No harm will be done when you all aim to become safe and cautious drivers, as this will be one more good driver on the roads.
Tell Them About the Legal Side of Driving
Let your teen know that a lot more is involved with driving than just rubber on the road. Inform them about legal consequences and solutions to different road issues so they know in advance what's likely to happen in different scenarios. For instance, share with them the fact that just 4% to 5% of personal injury cases go on to trial while almost 95% of personal injury claims are settled pre-trial in the United States. When they have information like this at the back of their minds, they will be able to make fast calls and better decisions in case they get involved in a fender-bender.
Remind Them to Stay Sober While Driving
While they may have heard about this at some point, it will mean more coming from you. Remind them as often as is necessary that the risk involved with drunk driving far outweighs any perceived benefit or coolness factor. Tell them that if they want to go to a party that will be serving alcohol, they either need to avoid taking any of it or make alternative plans of getting back home rather than driving. Let them know that even if they feel fine, they may not be able to make good calls and respond fast enough to situations that arise on the road.
Tell Them to Service Their Cars Regularly
Finally, they need to remember to take their car in for regular service as often as the car's manufacturer states for it to be done. Doing this will ensure that their car is functioning optimally and is not likely to fail. This coupled with following the rules of the road will result in a safe drive every time. Talk to them about different tools they need to have in their cars as well in case of an emergency. For instance, the torque wrench, which was invented by Conrad Bahr in 1918 while he was working for the New York City Water Department, is a device used to apply torque precisely to a fastener like a bolt or a nut. When they know their tools and what they're for, they're less likely to get stranded in an emergency.
Use these tips to help your teen stay safe on the roads. They will thank you for your help when they're still driving safely years later.
Devin is a writer and an avid reader. When she isn't lost in a book or writing, she's busy in the kitchen trying to perfect her slow cooker recipes. You can find her poetry published in The Adirondack Review and Cartridge Lit.