Establishing Driving Rules for Your Teen
Most teens can’t wait to hit the open road as soon as they pass their driving test and get their driver’s license in their hands. Most parents aren’t quite as eager to have their offspring on the roads by themselves where they have no adult supervision. Teenagers often don’t realize how dangerous driving and being on the road can be, so parents have to set down driving rules for them to follow.
As a parent, you’re proud that your child has gotten their driver’s license and is gaining some independence, but you still have to take care of them. Having adequate car insurance covering property damage has a reasonable deductible. Hopefully, it gives you a healthy discount to worrying about drinking, driving, and other people on the road, parents worry. It’s what they do.
If your teen recently got their driver’s license, you’ve already chosen the best car insurance you can find by going to a reputable site and comparing auto insurers, premiums, and coverage options. You’ve got the best discount from those auto insurers you can find and are now ready to turn your child loose after setting the rules below for them to follow.
Help them avoid using their cellphone when driving.
While there are many cellphone rules that parents set down for their teens, such as no phones at the dinner table or no cellphones in the bedroom after bedtime, the most significant and most important cellphone rule to set down is no using the phone when driving.
Texting while driving has caused many fatal car accidents among teenagers. You can install smartphone apps that prevent teens from texting while driving if you have to.
Restrict their driving at night.
Teens aren’t used to driving during the day, much less at night. While the roads are the same, everything looks different when the sun goes down, and accidents tend to happen. According to the DMV, almost 40% of teen car accidents happen at night. Many states have a curfew for teen drivers, with the strictest being eight pm. If your state doesn’t have a curfew for teens, then implement one of your own until you’re comfortable with your teen driving after sunset.
Limit the number of teens allowed in your child’s car.
Teens get easily distracted, especially when they have their friends around them. The more teens in one car, the more apt they are to become distracted, distract the driver, and end up in a car crash. It’s best if you bar other teens from riding in your child’s car until they are more experienced and less easily distracted. If you can’t block other teens completely, at least put a one person at a time rule in place, instead. Let your teen know that limiting the number of teens they can drive around town is for their safety.
Follow through on any punishments you set.
If your teens break the rules, you must follow through on any punishments you’ve threatened for rule-breaking. It only takes a second to cross the centerline, and you don’t get second chances once your child is injured in an accident or worse. For example, if you’ve threatened to take their keys and park their car in the yard for a month, if you catch them using their phone while driving, stick to your guns and keep them grounded for the full month.
Most teens already know that driving is a privilege and can also be dangerous. Parents need to set rules to reinforce what their teens already know and to drive home the consequences of not being responsible as a licensed driver.