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Nov 15, 2014

Safe Driving Tips for your Teens

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Time was, it was just you and your baby. Your car, that is. Now, you have had some real babies, they’re grown up, and they’re taking your car out for a spin. Yikes. Here are some tips to keep your kids, and your car, safe on the road.

Driving Tips For Teens

  1. Draw up a written contract.
  2. Kids react positively clear boundaries. Draw up a contract specifying for how many hours, and on what conditions, your teen can use the car. Specify in writing exactly what will constitute a breach of contract. Staying out too late? Being in an accident? Getting a ticket? All of these are possibilities. Notify your teen that any breach of contract will result in the loss of car privileges. The most important part of these contracts is enforcing them. Even if your teen has to take the bus for his/her senior year, it’s better than letting them know they can get away with using a vehicle irresponsibly.

  3. Make responsible driving important in your household.
  4. Your teens learn from you. Make a point of turning off your cell phone whenever you get behind the driver’s seat, so as not to be tempted to talk or text. Finish food before you get behind the wheel. Never drive if you are drowsy. Explain all these precautions to your teen and make it clear that you expect the same of them.

  5. Punish irresponsible drinking, not responsible calling.
  6. Like it or not, your teen is likely to have a few drinks at some point. If they do, the last thing you want is for them to be too afraid to call you. Promise that if they are too drunk to drive home, you will pick up the phone and come get them.

  7. Build up good habits gradually.
  8. You want your teen’s habits to be well-established before he/she takes any friends for a ride. These habits take time. For several months, insist that a mature adult accompanies the teen on all drives. After that, put in a rule that the teen cannot give rides to friends until they have three months of solitary driving under their belt. This helps solidify habits that will hold up even in the face of peer pressure or distracting conversation.

Teens might complain about all the rules, but let that worry you. It builds character to learn to follow others’ rules when using others’ property.

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