If you have a teenager who has started driving, you probably wonder how to keep them safe. Driving in the Las Vegas area can be challenging even for seasoned drivers, with the Spaghetti Bowl and generally a high volume of traffic. For a teen driver without much experience, driving can be even more dangerous.
The following tips can help you keep your teen driver safe behind the wheel:
Choose a safe car and help your teen maintain it
Choose a vehicle with a high safety rating and equipped with air bags, anti-lock brakes, stability control, and other safety features. Help your teen learn how to keep the car well maintained, making sure the tires are always in good condition and routine maintenance is performed.
Help them get experience
Many teens say their parents are too busy or nervous to give them the hours they need behind the wheel. Invest in a driving course for your teen if needed, and continue to let them drive with you in the car. The more experience they have, the better, and the course may even help you get a discount on your car insurance.
Put rules and consequences in place
Stress to your teen that driving is a privilege, not a right. Make sure they understand behaviors such as drinking and driving, texting behind the wheel, or speeding won’t be tolerated. It can even help to draw up a contract for your teen to sign that spells out the rules as well as the consequences (limited or revoked driving privileges) if he or she breaks them.
Limit places and times when they can drive
Don’t let your teen drive on freeways during rush hours or on weekend nights. Traffic can be particularly heavy and aggressive at these times. In fact, limiting nighttime driving in general is a good idea, because most teen driver fatalities occur between 9 p.m. and midnight.
Restrict the number of passengers
Teens are easily distracted when their friends are in the car, making them more likely to get into an accident. Limit the number of teen passengers they can have in the car to one at the most.
Model good behavior
If your teen sees you raging at other drivers, cutting them off in traffic, and using your cell phone while you’re driving, he or she is likely to do the same. Make sure you’re modeling the kind of behavior that sets a good example behind the wheel.
Teach them what to do in case of an accident
An accident is a stressful situation, so make sure your teen knows what to do if they’re involved in one. Teach them about getting to a safe place, calling police, and exchanging insurance information.
Download the free checklist, “8 Surprising Things to Know after a Car Accident” and go over it with your teen and print out a copy to keep in their car. If you or they are involved in an accident, contact Greenman, Goldberg, Raby and Martinez at 702-388-GGRM (4476).