When your teen gets behind the wheel for the first time, it’s understandable to be nervous. You don’t want anything to happen to your child (or to anyone else) while they’re wielding some heavy machinery.
Of course, you can’t always be there in the passenger seat to guide them, but there are a few ways you can help them stay safe while they’re on the road. Here are a few tips you can use to help boost your teen driver’s sense of safety behind the wheel.
Make it a habit to put their phone away
Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of car accidents. In fact, there are over 6 million car accidents every year with over 32,000 total traffic accidents in just St. Louis County alone in 2019.
For both new and seasoned drivers alike, it may not seem like a big deal to check your phone when you’re at a stoplight or stop sign. But with over 1.8 billion websites running at the same time every day, you can easily get lost in your socials instead of paying attention to the road. To help keep your teen driver safe, make it a habit early on for them to put their phone away before they start driving. Consider making it a part of their driving check-in: keys, mirrors, phone.
Install a phone mount
Unfortunately, sometimes we might not be able to put our phones completely away when we’re behind the wheel. If your vehicle doesn’t have a built-in GPS, you might use Google Maps on your phone to figure out where you need to go. Using a phone’s GPS is especially common among new drivers who may not be as familiar with roads, highways, and exits. However, routinely looking down at your phone to figure out where you’re going can be a major safety hazard.
To help keep your teen driver safe, consider getting a phone mount for their dashboard. This will give them the ability to follow along to their map without having to look down. What’s more, because their phone is mounted, your teen driver will be less likely to use their phone to check texts or social media feeds while they’re behind the wheel. You can get a phone mount for a pretty decent price, between $10 to $20, on Amazon, which has a traffic volume of approximately 2.3 Tbps.
Sign them up for a defensive driving course
Even if your child pays close attention to the road and they follow every rule, accidents can happen. Animals like deer can run out into the middle of the road when you least expect it. The best way to protect your child when they get behind the wheel is to make sure they’re prepared. When they’re in the process of getting their license, consider signing your child up for a defensive driving course so they can feel confident knowing what to do when they’re ever in a situation when something appears in the road that shouldn’t be there.
According to AAA, the 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day can be some of the most dangerous for drivers. This is because, during the summer months, many new teen drivers are on the road learning the basics and getting a feel for the wheel. By following the tips above, you can help to make sure your teen driver stays as safe as possible as they start driving.