It’s well known that young drivers can be a high risk on the roads, and as a parent, it’s natural to worry about your kids when they start driving.
So, helping your youngster to drive safely and enjoy the freedoms that come with a driving license is key for you staying relaxed as they head off in the car.
We’ve put together our eight top tips to help your kids to stay safe behind the wheel.
1. Make Sure They Always Wear Their Seatbelt
Seatbelts save lives, but all too often, people fail to buckle up when they’re only driving around the block. This common mistake could lead to serious and even deadly consequences if an accident were to occur.
Encourage your young driver to always wear a seatbelt, even if it’s just a quick trip to the store: it could be the difference between life and death.
Don’t forget to set a good example by ensuring that everyone who drives wears their seatbelt to promote safe driving habits.
2. Don’t Make Assumptions About What Other Drivers are Going to Do
One mistake that many new drivers make is assuming that other drivers will act in a predictable manner. This can be a dangerous assumption, as the reality is often far from this expectation.
Regardless of how experienced or inexperienced you are on the roads, it’s important to always remain aware and alert to potential risks ahead.
When an impatient driver causes an accident, the repercussions can be immense. From dealing with an accident to life-changing injuries, this is not a situation that a young driver wants to find themselves in.
On the flip side of the coin, you should also ensure that they understand what to do if they find themselves in an accident caused by someone else.
From calling for medical assistance to keeping safe at the scene, it’s essential that they stay calm and not lose their temper.
If they are able to, they should also be advised to make notes of what happened and, where appropriate and safe to do so, take photographs of the accident and the surroundings; these can all be evidence when dealing with insurance companies and for claims for compensation.
3. Teach Them Never to Text or Use Their Phone While Driving
It can be tempting to glance at a buzzing phone when you’re behind the wheel, but it’s important for parents to remind their children that using phones while driving is not only illegal in many parts of the world but also extremely hazardous.
Teach them about the importance of following this rule every single time they are driving as well as why laws are in place against it. This includes research showing that talking on a cell phone reduces reaction times and could potentially lead to an accident.
Did you know that you are four times more likely to be in a crash if you use your phone? And that your reaction times are two times slower if you text and drive using a hands-free phone, and this increases to three times slower if you use a handheld phone.
Equipping them with this knowledge early on will help to build a long-term safe attitude toward driving, leading to better drivers – and perhaps even saving lives.
4. Tell Them to Always be Aware of Their Surroundings and not to Drive in Areas that are Known for Crime
You never know when a potentially dangerous situation may present itself, so it’s important to always be aware of your surroundings.
Whenever possible, it’s wise for a new driver to avoid driving alone at night and to ensure that the car doors are locked when setting off.
Driving in areas that are known for criminal activity can be particularly risky, and it’s best avoided if at all possible. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure; exercising caution and being aware of potential dangers can go a long way!
5. Let Them Know That It’s Okay to Ask for Help if They’re Ever Feeling Unsafe on the Road
Road safety is of utmost importance, and everyone should feel comfortable asking for help if they ever find themselves in an unsafe situation on the road.
Whether they are running low on fuel, feeling unwell, or simply lost, it’s important to know when to seek help from authorities or trusted sources who can ensure their safety.
There are a number of organizations, like the police or local roadside assistance programs, available to offer a helping hand.
6. Help Young Drivers Plan Their Routes Before They Set Off
For novice drivers, careful planning before hitting the road can be a lifesaver. Developing a route beforehand helps them to safely reach their destination and allows them to plan ahead for any emergency situations.
Before setting out, get them to consider which route is best suited for their destination and weather conditions. Planning ahead will also help you practice good safety habits, like avoiding distractions while driving, maintaining a safe speed, and leaving plenty of space between them and other cars.
When armed with an effective driving plan, young drivers can confidently and safely navigate the roads.
7. Ensure Young Drivers Understand the Principles of Basic Car Maintenance
Not every young driver will be an expert in auto mechanics, but it’s important to make sure that they understand the basics.
Teach them how to check their engine oil and water levels, as well as other basic maintenance tasks such as checking tire pressures and fuel levels.
Taking the time to explain these simple steps can help your youngsters become more comfortable with performing basic car maintenance and reduce problems on the road.
8. Encourage Them to Take Advanced Driving Lessons
While getting your driver’s license is a major milestone, taking advanced driving lessons can be hugely beneficial.
Often young and older drivers fail to realize how important it is to stay up to date on safety techniques and laws when out on the roads.
Advanced driving courses provide teens with the opportunity to learn and practice the necessary skills for safe and responsible driving.
By encouraging young drivers to take these extra classes, parents can ensure that their teen has all of the necessary skills for staying safe while behind the wheel.
Your kids will pick up on and mimic your driving habits. So, while you can absolutely ensure that they understand each of our eight tips, don’t forget to be the perfect role model!