August means preparing for another school year. If you have teens beginning to take on more responsibility by driving themselves to school or other activities, you may be wondering how you can help keep them safe on the roads. It can be a scary proposition to send your kids out driving. Here are some ideas to help.
Most importantly, talk to your kids. Talk to them individually about staying safe on the roads, and what they will do in a given scenario (say, for example, if they are pulled over, or rear-ended.) This can go a long way towards empowering your teens to make safe choices.
Peer pressure: Discuss with your kids what they should do if they find themselves in an unsafe place situation with friends. What will they do if one of their friends is texting while driving, driving erratically, or playing the music too loud? Is your teen able to speak up for themselves?
Buckle up: Every passenger, every time. No excuses--no one gets to ride in the car, or start the car until everyone is safely and correctly buckled. This can save lives.
Stay Sober: Teach your kids never to drive if impaired by alcohol or drugs. Make sure that they know how to call Uber or a taxi for themselves or friends instead of getting behind the wheel. Create a family atmosphere where your kids can talk to you about alcohol and drugs and won’t feel judged if they call you late at night, needing a ride home.
Practice nighttime driving: Spend extra time working with your kids on driving at night. Teens are especially susceptible to nighttime accidents due to their inexperience. Work with your kids until they--and you--feel confident with their nighttime driving skills.
Put the phones away: No texting, no Snapchat, no Instagram, no Facebook--make your kids promise that they will not use their phones while driving, no matter what. Young drivers are at a much higher risk of being distracted. It is vital that they get some years of experience under their belts before they use even hands-free phone operations.
No matter how big your kids get, they’ll always be your babies! We hope that we’ve given you some good food for thought on how to help keep your teens safe behind the wheel. As always, make routine auto repair service at Gary’s part of your life. You’ll never regret it!