default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Logout|My Dashboard

Tips for parents of teen drivers

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Thursday, March 31, 2011 8:30 am | Updated: 11:06 am, Thu Mar 31, 2011.

Arguably no parent in the history of the world has looked forward to the day their teenager gets his or her driver's license. Though getting a driver's license is a milestone for kids, it's also the cause of heartache for parents who understandably worry about their teenager hitting the open road all by their lonesome.

While there's no way to keep kids from growing up, there are steps parents can take to make a teen's transition to fully licensed driver a little easier.

  • Institute a no cell phone policy when driving. This is a relatively new, yet major concern for parents of teen drivers. Most of today's teens have their own cell phones, and parents could very well be helpless when it comes to keeping kids from talking or texting on their cell phones while driving. That said, a no-cell-phone-while-driving policy should be instituted and thoughtfully discussed with teenagers. Make it known that should an accident occur because of cell phone use while driving, both the car privileges and the phone will be taken away.
  • When applying for colleges, consider the school's freshman driving policy. A child's first year away at college is enough to make any parent lose sleep, but sending kids off to college with a car for their first year only adds to the sleepless nights. When kids are applying to colleges, look for schools that don't allow freshmen to have cars. Many schools don't, so this should not be a problem. If a child chooses a school that does allow freshmen to have a car, let kids know you would be more comfortable if the car stayed home, at least for the first semester while kids learn to adjust to their new surroundings.
  • If possible, wait an extra year. If your teenager is the rare breed who isn't especially excited about getting a driver's license, let it slide. Studies show 16-year-old drivers are far more likely to get in accidents than their 17-year-old counterparts.
  • Limit passengers. Teenage drivers are more likely to get in an accident with each passenger who comes along for the ride. One study indicates teen drivers with one fellow teenager in the car are 40 percent more likely to get in an accident than they would be if they were driving alone. Those percentages increase with each additional teenage passenger, so parents should institute a reasonable policy that limits the number of passengers that a teen can take on when driving.
  • Make sure teens are driving safe vehicles. While it might be nice to give your teen the flashy sports car for his or her birthday, doing so is a big mistake. A teenager's first car should be the kind of vehicle that discourages irresponsible driving. The vehicle should also be fully equipped with all the necessary safety features, including airbags and anti-lock brakes.
  • Stress the importance of seatbelts. A significant percentage of teenagers killed in auto accidents weren't wearing their seatbelts at the time of death. All drivers should wear seatbelts, and parents should set a positive example by wearing their seatbelts whenever riding in a car. To encourage teens wear their seatbelts when driving, institute a policy wherein they lose their vehicle privileges should they be caught driving without a seatbelt.

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don’t pretend you’re someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don’t threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don’t insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the ‘Report’ link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.
  • 9 Don’t be a troll.
  • 10 Don’t reveal personal information about other commenters. You may reveal your own personal information, but we advise you not to do so.
  • 11 We reserve the right, at our discretion, to monitor, delete or choose not to post any comment. This may include removing or monitoring posts that we believe violate the spirit or letter of these rules, or that we otherwise determine at our discretion needs to be monitored, not posted, or deleted.

Welcome to the discussion.