Sadly, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, car crashes are the leading killer of teens with the risk highest for teens ages 16 – 17.
As a parent or guardian, another important thing you can do to help your teen become a safe drive is to model good behavior.
- Do not use your cell phone when driving. If you need to make a call or send a text, ask your teen to do so for you.
- Buckle up and make certain everyone in the vehicle is properly belted.
- Don’t drink and drive — ever.
- Use your signal when turning or changing lanes.
- Don’t drive aggressively. Drive defensively.
- Obey the speed limit.
While teens also have access to tools like Google Maps that can help them navigate unfamiliar areas, take the time to review their intended path before they leave. In addition, have them access the digital route prior to leaving and turn on the voice-activated directional service on their phone so that they are listening to directions when driving rather than looking at the digital map when they are behind the wheel.
Consider purchasing a device or app that blocks cell phone use while your teen is driving. Most apps/devices still allow 911 calls, but block other cell activity while the car is moving. One example is https://www.cellcontrol.com/stop-texting-while-driving-for-your-family. The Department of Motor Vehicles has created a webpage concerning Apps to fight distracted driving. The webpage describes how the Apps work, offers tips on how to choose the best Distracted Driving App for your family and reviews Apps’ features including: sends parent notifications, blocks text messages, blocks calls, tracks safe miles driven, rewards safe driving and location sharing.
AAA recommends having a parent-teen driving agreement that ensures both parents and teens do their best to be safe drivers. We encourage you to take a look at AAA’s Parent-Teen Driving Agreement and see if it will work for your family.