Here’s What to Tell Your Teens When They Take the Wheel

Depending on the state, your teen is probably going to aim for a license around age 16. Watching a child drive a car on their own is a scary thing for any parent, as it signals independence and freedom. Once your child attains a license, though, they may think nothing can harm them. Here is a list of top ten tips to know for new drivers.

  1. Flat Tires: It is important to remind your teen that their car is not invincible. A flat tire is simply part of car ownership. Make sure your teen has an emergency phone number to call, and a tire-replacement knowledge, once they have pulled over.
  2. Accidents: Unfortunately, collisions happen frequently, and new drivers should be aware of the ways to deal with an auto collision if it does occur. Creating an emergency action plan will keep drivers equipped to handle an accident if it should happen.
  3. Cell Phones: Though it should be rudimental and explicit, remind your teen of the dangers of texting while driving. Make sure they know to keep their hands and eyes on the wheel at all times rather than on their cell phone.
  4. Dashboard warning lights: There are many diverse symbols on every dashboard. Your teen should know which lights are more important, such as an engine overheat. Warning lights such as tire pressure may be less urgent.
  5. Different driving conditions: New drivers should know how to drive at night, in the rain, and if in a colder climate, in the snow.
  6. Impaired drivers: Education is key when teaching your teen about impaired drivers. Be sure your teen understands how important it is to not allow a friend to drive impaired or to accept a ride from an intoxicated driver.
  7. Police Officers and Emergency Vehicles: Teens should recognize to pull over if they see flashing lights in their rear-view mirrors. Make sure the car is equipped with valid insurance and licensure, and that the teen is aware to find such items. Additionally, be sure your teen knows to move aside for emergency vehicles.
  8. Repair Shops: All drivers should know how to locate a nearby repair shop just in case something goes wrong.
  9. Aggressive Drivers: Some drivers get angry when they get cut-off or miss a light, but expressing that anger while driving is extremely dangerous. Staying calm in all situations when driving can increase the safety of the drive tremendously.
  10. Getting a new car: Parents are usually involved when teens get their first cars, but they will need to know how to go about buying or leasing new cars down the road. Parents can include drivers in the buying process, so they may be more aware when they need to purchase a vehicle on their own.

Following the above tips ensures your driver will be ready for all situations they may face on the road ahead.