You were ecstatic when your son was accepted for summer classes at UMKC. He will be able to get a jump on his college courses, and he will have something to do all summer—so the second-hand car you bought for him was the perfect way to show him how proud you are.
Now that you have driven with him a few times, you are not sure he is experienced enough to stay safe while driving up and down Route 50 all summer. How can you help keep a teenager safe in his first car even when you are not riding with him?
Top 10 Teenage Driver Mistakes That Lead to Fatal Car Accidents
According to AAA, teenagers are more at risk than other drivers are because they are more likely to be:
- Reckless – Teenagers often take more risks than other drivers do.
- Unbuckled – As new drivers, teens are more lax about wearing their seat belts for every trip.
- Speeding – Inexperienced drivers have a tendency to travel above the speed limit.
- Unruly riders – Teens in the passenger and backseats are more likely to distract the driver.
- Distracted – Teenagers are still the number one age group distracted by cell phones.
- Changing stations – Teenagers often crash while fiddling with the radio, CDs, or other music player.
- Cruising – Teenagers are often out late with friends on weekends, driving home during peak accident times.
- DUI – Even if your child would never drive under the influence, he may still be struck by a drunk driver or ride as a passenger with an intoxicated friend.
- Influenced – Peer pressure is a daily factor in a teenager’s life, and it may be hard to resist a dare to pass a semi or perform another difficult maneuver.
- Overconfidence – Teens are often falsely confident that they can control the car while eating and drinking.
How Can I Protect My Child From an Accident?
There are many ways you can help your teenager learn how to handle his first car safely. First, you can have them sign a parent-teen driving agreement, outlining the guidelines for safe driving and penalties you will impose if ignored. You should also include what further privileges they could enjoy if they stick to the agreement. If they are able to earn privileges, they are more likely to act responsibly.
For more safety tips, visit our YouTube page for informative videos that can help you prevent injury.