TEEN DRIVER’S GUIDE TO THE LAWS OF THE ROAD
As soon as your child gets a driver’s license, it’s critical to establish some additional regulations on the road. Defining your expectations before you give the keys to the automobile can help you avoid frustrating arguments, expensive collisions, and other issues. You’ll also feel more assured in your teen’s safety.
Seatbelts, passengers, curfews, and dealing with distractions like smartphones and other devices should all be addressed in a comprehensive set of rules. Make an effort to involve your adolescent in the formulation of the rules and the imposition of the penalties.
The following are some possible considerations:
It’s illegal to multitask while driving, whether you’re texting, making phone calls, or using a GPS. Your child should be given alternatives to these unhealthy habits, such as pulling into a parking lot to answer or make calls and verifying instructions, or setting a GPS before departing for an unfamiliar site. Make sure you set a good example in terms of how you deal with distractions while driving, as well!
When teens first receive their license, many states place restrictions on the number and age of passengers they can have. Depending on your child’s previous driving experience, temperament, and the kind of driving scenarios he or she is likely to encounter, you may want to add to the list of regulations you already know.
Begin by not allowing your teenager to drive with friends, and then ease the limitation as your teenager acquires confidence and experience behind the wheel.. Do not forget: the more a vehicle contains teenagers, the more likely it is to be involved in an accident.
Driving at Night
Driving at night should be approached with caution by teenagers. Provisional licenses do not require minors to be home until midnight, but you may wish to set a curfew earlier and then extend it as needed. Night driving is more perilous than daylight driving for everyone, but it’s more hazardous for inexperienced drivers.
Advise your teen driver about the consequences of speeding, such as deadly collisions, high penalties, points on their license, and possibly the suspension of their driving privileges. Make your teen driver responsible for speeding fines and any resulting insurance rate spikes by making them responsible for them.
Education regarding the risks of not wearing a seatbelt is especially important for teenagers because they are less likely to do so. All passengers, including your adolescent, should wear safety belts. Nearly every state has a fine of up to $200 for driving without a seatbelt.
Driving Under the Influence
It is never acceptable for teenagers to get behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or to get into a vehicle with someone who is. Make it easy for teens to get in touch with you for a ride, no matter what time of day or where they are. Promise not to penalize or question them.
Other Responsibilities Including Schoolwork
Consider allowing your child to drive only if he or she maintains good grades or fulfills other obligations, such as doing housework.
Upkeep of Motor Vehicles
Basic automotive maintenance, such as the following, should be taught to your kid in order to keep the vehicle safe and avoid breakdowns:
Take a look at the fuel gauge
Inspecting the tires each time the vehicle is driven to ensure proper tire pressure (check monthly) and inspecting the fluids (oil, brake, power steering, windshield washer)
A 3,000-mile oil change or as directed by the owner’s manual maintaining clean windows and mirrors (inside and out)
First demonstrate, then supervise your teen as he or she completes chores like reading a tire gauge and checking the oil. In the glove compartment, maintain a journal to record when you check the fluids, oils, and the air pressure.
Discuss with your teen the appropriateness of driving in various weather conditions. It’s best to pull over and wait out a storm even if curfew is disrupted, because safety always comes first.
There is a lot more to learn.
A Driver Agreement that clearly outlines the rules and consequences for breaking them can be helpful. This eliminates any potential for ambiguity and demonstrates how seriously you take enforcing the rules to your adolescent. There is a Parent-Teen Driving Agreement on the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety website, Keys2Drive. It’s up to you whether or not you use theirs.
Get in the passenger seat occasionally while your teen is behind the wheel. Observing how confident he or she is behind the wheel can give you an idea of whether or not to trust them with your vehicle. Instilling good driving habits in your teen today will aid them for the rest of their lives.