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Teen Driving Safety Tips For Parents to Share

teen driving safety tips

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Learning to drive is a rite of passage for many teenagers. Receiving a driver’s license is an exciting time for a teenager. For parents, however, having a teen driver leads to constant worrying about their safety while on the road, especially if parents have seen teen driver statistics.

Most states offer drivers under the age of 18 restricted licenses owing to the fact that a large percentage of road accidents occur in the 16-to-25 age group. These restrictions make sense from a scientific point of view as well, since research indicates that the human brain circuitry is not fully mature until the early 20s. If you have a teen family member who is about to take the wheel for the first time, you may wish to share the skills and lessons you have learned after years of driving.

Following teen driving safety tips is a must. As parents or guardians, you naturally want to do everything you can to ensure your teenager’s safety. Here are a few vital skills adults should share with new drivers:

teen driving safety tips

Knowing Basic Car Maintenance Skills is Vital

When you are a new driver, it is important to take your car for scheduled maintenance so that fluids can be topped up and service items can be replaced. It is important for teens to know the basics of car maintenance, in case they are stranded and they need to change a tire, top up the oil or add windshield wiper fluid.

They should also know when it is time to change an old battery and be watchful for signs like a battery that keeps dying. Allowing a battery to simply die often and jumpstarting it multiple times will only weaken it and make matters worse.

Waiting only leads to more expense, so at the first sign of a car component failing, the vehicle should be taken to a mechanic.

Emotional Regulation Is Non-Negotiable on the Road

It is vital for new drivers to avoid giving in to road rage. AAA estimates that eight out of 10 drivers show aggressive driving behaviors. This can put drivers and passengers at extremely high risk. The most common types of road rage behaviors include tailgating, shouting, or beeping at another vehicle. These behaviors are involved in over 50% of all fatal car crashes.

Teens should know the importance of regulating their behavior by identifying their emotions, trying controlled breathing to keep their stress down, and defensive driving techniques such as quietly getting out of the way of someone who is aggressive. It simply isn’t worth arguing with a driver who may resort to violent maneuvers that can cause lives to be lost.

Technology is a Huge Aid for All Drivers

Technological devices such as GPS systems, rearview cameras, lane keeping assist and departure warning, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking can all help save lives. Explain to teens that sometimes, you can be a great driver and have confidence in your abilities, yet fail to see a car that is overtaking you (explain what “blind spots” are).

If your teen friend or family member is looking for a car, emphasize how different technology can help prevent accidents. Sometimes, it pays to spend a little more than you intended for a car with a good safety system and all the high tech you need to get you where you want to go and keep your car in good condition.

Getting and Being on the Road

As adults, automatically following the basic safety tips for operating a motor vehicle tends to come without much thought to the process. However, for teenagers the driving experience is brand new and exciting. With extensive preparation, you can help keep your teen driver stay safe.

Basic Vehicle Safety Tips

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At some point, you will not be in the vehicle with your teen driver. Repeating and reviewing the basic teen driving safety tips for operating a motor vehicle while riding with them is critical to ensuring your teen’s well-being. Below are some tips that need to be made clear for teen drivers:

  • Upon getting into the vehicle, adjust mirrors to ensure a proper view around the vehicle.
  • Move the driver’s seat to a comfortable position to reach the pedals without any problems.
  • Adjust the head and arm rest for a comfortable driving experience.
  • Properly secure your safety belt. Ensure all passengers in the car are wearing their seat-belts throughout the entire ride. Without proper restraints, your teen driver and passengers could receive extensive injuries in a motor vehicle accident.
  • Check the gas tank to ensure a proper amount of fuel is there for the planned destination. Running out of fuel can create a hazardous situation if your teen is stranded on the side of the road.
  • Remember to keep both hands on the steering wheel at all times.

Basic Road Rules To Follow

Along with the safety procedures for the vehicle, alert your teenager to always follow the basic rules of the road.

  • Follow the posted speed limits, excessive speeds create accidents.
  • Allow for safe distance between your vehicle and others on the road.
  • Do not tailgate another driver.
  • Stop fully at intersections.
  • Before proceeding at a green light, ensure oncoming vehicles are stopping.
  • Always signal when turning.
  • Avoid pulling out in front of other vehicles.
  • Always use windshield wipers during rainy weather.
  • Turn headlights to ensure correct viewing distance with inclement weather and evening driving.
  • Be aware of changing weather conditions.
  • Operating a motor vehicle requires extensive knowledge of road rules, signs, procedures, and bill of sale.
  • Remembering the road rule basics will help keep your teen driver safe.

Personal Safety Tips For Teens

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 9% of all 15 to 19 years old involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crashes.

Going over the rules of driving a motor vehicle is only one step in the process. As a parent, you will need to go over personal safety tips to keep your teen focused while operating a motor vehicle. Personal distractions can create an accident in an instant. Some practical things your teen can also do are:

  • Turn off the cell phone.
  • Never text while driving.
  • Do not eat or drink while driving.
  • Never drink alcohol and drive.
  • Keep the radio on one channel. Tuning the radio to a different station is distracting.
  • Keep the music level down.
  • If you require corrective lenses, wear them at all times.
  • Avoid dark sunglasses.
  • Do not use the mirror for personal hygiene while traveling down the road

Instilling constant vigilance will help keep your teen driver safe at all times. When your teen driver is aware of their surroundings, both inside and outside of the vehicle, the risk of accidents is greatly reduced.

Invite your teen to take a quiz, get tips and sign a contract to drive safe by visiting this distracted driving guide.

We want to know, do you have other teen driving safety tips to share?

Guest post: Karoline Gore spent 10 years as a driving instructor before taking time out to start a family. She has since rediscovered her teenage love of writing and enjoys contributing to a range of online and print publications.

And: Evan M. Levow, Esq. is an award-winning New Jersey DWI defense attorney at Levow DWI Law who has been successfully representing drivers arrested on DWI charges in New Jersey for decades. In addition to his dedication to representing his clients, Evan is also committed to giving back by helping educate drivers throughout the country about DUI laws and safe driving practices.

Copyright 2022 Safe Ride 4 Kids. All rights reserved. You may not publish, broadcast, rewrite or redistribute this material without permission. You are welcome to link to Safe Ride 4 Kids or share on social media.

We originally published this post in June 2016. We updated the article for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

© rmarmion | depositphotos

7 comments

  1. These are great tips! There are new features on some brand new cars that are meant to help teen drivers learn safety, like settings that won’t allow them to turn up the music! So cool.

  2. It’s hard to allow your teenagers to start driving because it takes a lot of responsibility to do that. They need proper guidance regarding it. Good thing there are tips here in your post where they can get ideas with in safely driving.

  3. Great post! You have mentioned some really good points here. Attention to safety can help reduce car accident injuries and fatalities. But even safe drivers are involved in accidents. So hiring a personal injury lawyer is the best advice.

  4. Thanks for sharing your informative words. Above tips are fabulous and helps every parents to save their teen from rash driving. Good stuff safe driving tips for Teens.

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