Has your teenager recently started to talk about getting a driver’s license? Then, it’s time to teach them about road etiquette, traffic laws, driving rules, etc.
Recently, American teens have stopped getting their licenses because driving has become too expensive, and they have easy access to public transport. Only 40% of teenagers had a license in 2021, as compared to 64% in 1995. Therefore, it’s a great thing if your kid wants to get their license and be independent.
But as a parent, it’s crucial to make them understand the real world of driving before anything else. For example, you can teach them how to minimize distractions and show them the car systems in detail.
In this blog, we will discuss the things you should teach your kid before they get a hold of their driver’s license.
#1. What They Should Do After an Accident
The roads in America aren’t safe, especially because of other drivers. Some of them drive over the speed limit or are under the influence of alcohol. Thankfully, there was a 3.3% decrease in motor vehicle fatalities in 2023. However, it doesn’t change the fact that your teenager might get involved in an accident that isn’t their fault.
If your kid is involved in an accident, they’ll surely feel overwhelmed, scared, and stressed out. Given how gullible teenagers are, they might accept fault even if they didn’t cause the accident. That’s why it’s important to teach them the right course of action.
According to the Keith Law Group, you should teach your teenager to first check on their injuries, seek medical help if needed, and never admit fault. After that, they can check on all the parties involved, take pictures or videos of the accident, and then call the police. Once everything is settled and numbers have been exchanged, they can give you a call.
You can then contact a dedicated and knowledgeable car accident lawyer registered in the state where this accident occurred. Let’s say the incident happened in Rogers. Then, you should hire an attorney who has passed the Arkansas Bar Exam and can legally practice law in the city.
A Rogers car accident attorney will investigate the accident based on the evidence collected, calculate the potential damages, and file a lawsuit on your kid’s behalf. They’ll also help you file an insurance claim and start the settlement negotiations and trial preparations.
#2. Minimizing All Distractions While Driving
According to the CDC, distractions while driving can be cognitive, visual, and manual. For instance, distracted driving includes taking eyes off the road, taking hands off the wheel, and getting lost in thoughts. All these are fairly common among teenage drivers.
As a parent, you should teach them the consequences of distracted driving. For example, talking on the phone, eating food, or texting while driving can lead to accidents and property damage. If that happens, they’ll have to face legal consequences. These distractions can endanger the safety of passengers and others on the road.
Therefore, you can teach them to control the situation in the car and maintain focus while driving. If they are hungry, they can safely pull over and enjoy the meal. Similarly, if they have to make a call or text someone, they should do it while parked.
All teenagers must know how to avoid distracted driving before getting a license. Minimizing distractions like these will help reduce the risk of getting involved in an accident.
#3. Understanding the Vehicle
Familiarizing your teen with how cars operate can help them understand every aspect of safe driving practices. Once they get the license, they’ll already know how to drive safely and what their vehicle is capable of.
You can show them how to check the mirrors, fasten the seatbelt, and adjust the driver’s seat to their needs. Moreover, you can instruct them to use the car lights, air conditioner, and wipers properly. They’ll also learn to check the car’s exterior, inspect the dashboard, and check the gas available.
If you teach them about car systems before getting a license, they’ll surely determine whether everything is operational before driving off. They’ll also perform regular checks on their cars, and driving can eventually become muscle memory.
#4. Following Traffic Rules and Laws
Sometimes, teenagers break traffic rules because they’re simply unaware of them. For novice drivers, it’s important to know state-specific licensing laws.
If they already know about safe driving speeds, road signs, and local rules, it’ll be easy for them to get a license. Some of the common traffic rules include the following:
- All drivers should use the right side of the road.
- Avoid drunk driving.
- Ensure to fasten the seatbelt.
- Do not overspeed or overtake any vehicle.
You can sit with your teenager and review these laws and regulations together. Moreover, you can create new rules, like limiting the number of passengers and the hours they’re allowed to drive.
#5. Learning How to Park Correctly
It’s a well-known fact that even experienced drivers don’t know how to park their cars properly. Yes, parking the car is the hardest aspect of driving. Therefore, you cannot expect your teenager to understand how to do it in the first few tries.
That’s why the faster you help them learn parking techniques, the more confident they’ll become after getting the license. You can help them practice parallel, front, reverse, perpendicular, and angle parking in an empty lot. However, they’ll understand the complete parking maneuver only if they do it on crowded streets.
You should also help them learn the steps of parking before getting a license. For instance, they must first find a spot, signal incoming cars, position the car, and then start reversing and aligning.
In conclusion, it can be a tedious task to teach your teenagers about road safety, car parking, traffic rules, etc. However, all of that will be worth it when your kid is on the road. If they know these things, they’ll be aware of their surroundings and make better judgments. At the end of the day, you’ll feel less stressed about letting your teen drive alone.