There is nothing more exciting in the life of a California teenager than finally being able to apply for one’s own driver’s license. A driver’s license is a ticket to freedom and a step toward adulthood. It gives independence to youths who have been dependent on their parents for transportation and new forms of responsibility to them as they get closer and closer to maturity.
Unfortunately, driving can be a dangerous activity for young, new drivers, and many are involved in serious motor vehicle accidents. There are many steps their parents can take to protect and prepare them to drive, and this post will highlight five of those steps herein.
Step #1: Be a good driving role model
Parents can begin safe driving from the moment their children are alive. A parent who wears their seatbelt, follows traffic laws, and obeys appropriate signage and speeds demonstrates that driving is a responsibility to be taken seriously. Teens can pick up on the practices of their parents and model them in their own driving.
Step #2: Teach teens how to drive and about their vehicles
Teens are generally required to take driver’s education courses before they may apply for their driver’s licenses. However, these courses are not always as comprehensive as they should be. Parents can help educate their teens about driving by taking them out for lessons and showing them how to operate their own motor vehicles.
Step #3: Talk to teens about driving dangers and distractions
Many campaigns target drunk and distracted driving, but it never hurts for parents to push these points with their own children. The more that kids hear about the risks associated with drunk and distracted driving, the better the chance that they will remember when they have their own driver’s license.
Step #4: Set limits on when and where teens can drive
Driving during the daytime is different than driving at night. Similarly, driving in a neighborhood is different than driving on a Southern California freeway. Parents can limit when and where their teens drive to help them get comfortable with new situations over time.
Step #5: Ride along and limit passengers for young drivers
Driving with passengers can be very distracting. Though a teen may want to go out and pick up their friends in their car, driving with multiple people in the vehicle can be very distracting for new and inexperienced drivers. Parents can limit who rides with their teen drivers and can ride with them to ensure that they are using safe practices while behind the wheel.