Imagine for a moment that you are the parent of an exceptionally excited sixteen-year-old, and it is their birthday. You got up that morning like you usually do and prepared their favorite pancake breakfast to celebrate another year they have been in your life.
You then take your coffee and sit at the counter, waiting for the smell of bacon to waft up to your child’s room, and you dread the jingle of keys in front of your face as they beg you to take them to the DMV after breakfast so that they can get their license.
While on the one hand, it may be a relief because you no longer have to chauffeur your child around between school, the mall, sporting events, and friends’ houses, you have this dread filling the pit of your stomach. Will my child be safe? Are they responsible enough to take on such a big privilege?
Don’t worry parents; you are not alone. Every day another parent’s nightmare turns into reality on their child’s sixteenth birthday.
All we can do is help provide useful tips and advice for our children and hope they listen and expect them to remain distraction-free and completely focused while behind the wheel of the car.
What are the Distractions for Teen Drivers?
Before anything else, you may want to learn about all of the distractions that face young teenage drivers today. Once you’ve determined the risk factors involved, you will be better prepared to help educate your teen on these risks and come up with a plan together to avoid any future disasters or accidents.
In today’s society, cell phone usage probably tops the charts. Every teen I see has their phone attached to their hand, and they are always checking text messages, calling their friends, trolling all of their social media sites, and taking hundreds of selfies a day. Do you know if your teen does any of these things while behind the wheel of the car?
Most teenagers also pack their cars full of their friends and play their music loudly. All of these factor into huge distractions for your teen. You need to be aware of who your teen is driving in the car with and if you have to, put restrictions on how many friends they can have with them. Most states already have laws that have this distraction in mind, and most new drivers can only have one other person in the car with them at a time.
You also need to stress the importance of keeping their cell phone away from them while they are in the car. It might even be best to keep the volume on the phones off so they are not tempted to look when they hear their notifications. Always be sure they are wearing their seatbelts at all times as well.
Eating is another no-no while driving, especially for new drivers with little experience behind the wheel. It is important that they keep their hands on the wheel at all times and stay alert by scanning their surroundings. Focus is a fundamental element in avoiding any car accidents or other disasters.
Teen drivers under the age of twenty have the highest percentage rate of distraction-related fatal crashes. Teens are known to underestimate dangerous situations and have trouble recognizing hazardous conditions. They are also more likely to speed than adult drivers, and they let their emotions affect their driving.
Teens are already pumped with hormones and feelings, and a lot of things that happen in their life can make them feel like it’s the end of the world; sometimes these emotions can blind them when they are driving. Their feelings are just as big of a distraction as texting or paying more attention to the other passengers in the car than the other drivers around them.
What Can We Do as Parents to Keep our Teens Safe?
As a parent, the number one thing we can do to help ensure a responsible teen driver is by being a good role model. They pick up on their parent’s behavior and at one time or another imitate what they see and hear. If they see you texting while driving, then what is going to stop them from trying it themselves? If they don’t see you wearing your seatbelt, how do you expect them to take you seriously when you tell them to do just that?
We need to teach our teenagers the importance of following all laws and posted speed limits. Teach them always to wear their seatbelts, even if they are just going down the street. Always ensure a safe following distance by keeping plenty of space between their car and the car in front of them in the case of sudden stops.
Finally, if you need to give them restrictions on their driving, then don’t be afraid to set these limits and guidelines until you are sure they will be safe and responsible.
Most teenage drivers can obtain discounts on their insurance if they get good grades in school and complete additional driver training online. Some parents have even found that if they are told they have to pay a portion of the car insurance costs, then they will become better drivers. They do this knowing that if they do something wrong, the consequence could be higher insurance rates and less money in their pockets.
Teaching responsibility is a parent’s number one defense. Encourage good grades, teach them how to scan for potential dangers, limit the number of passengers to only one, and set a curfew for when their car needs to be pulled back into the driveway for the night. Teach responsibility as well as confidence so that they may gain critical life skills and reduce the chances of an accident or another road-related disaster.
Finding the Best Programs for Teen Driver’s Ed
TrafficSchoolCritics.com is a reliable source for any parent that is about to send their overexcited teenager into the world of vehicular freedom. We point you to the best programs, complete with reviews so that you can be sure that your child is getting the very best instruction that they possibly can, and so you can have that peace of mind knowing that they are learning valuable information that could potentially save their life one day.
To give you an idea, here are some of the main things you should look into when deciding which driver’s ed program will give your teen the best learning experience.
Customer reviews are always a good source for honest opinions of the school. By reading these reviews, you’ll get first-hand accounts of how the school being reviewed was able to meet student’s expectations (or failed to do so).
As a parent, you’ll surely want to have a role in your child’s driver’s education. Most experienced driver’s ed providers like DriversEd and DriverEdToGo know this, so you’ll find a special section on their website for parents.
Quality and Affordability
These two factors should go hand-in-hand. Look for a course that is affordable and yet capable of providing quality education. You don’t want to spend too much on extra add-ons that your child won’t need. You don’t want to spend less, too, for a course that does not satisfy your child’s driver’s education needs.
To find the best deals for you, TrafficSchoolCritics.com reached out to some of the best online driver’s ed schools for discount codes and special pricing deals to save you money.
Lastly, new-gen drivers are more inclined to learning through modern methods of teaching, so make sure to consider courses that have kept up with fast-moving technology changes. Courses should be at least accessible through any mobile device and have a few interactive videos and animations included in their program – like Aceable, for example.