Have a Life-Saving Conversation with Your Teen Driver
Agreeing on ground rules between a parent and teen can be challenging, especially when it comes to driving. As parents, we get it; as a teen just getting their license, they are excited about taking on new adventures and becoming self-sufficient. Getting a driver’s license is not a right, it is a privilege and just because someone is old enough does not always mean they are ready.
Having a life-saving conversation with your teen and agreeing on both safety and rules will ultimately help your teen become a safe and responsible driver. Driving is a fun but it’s also a serious matter. Precautions should be taken. Be sure to keep your teen informed and aware of the laws they are required to follow such as:
- The dangers and penalties for driving under the influence (This not only goes for your teen, remind your child that there can also be consequences if a passenger has alcohol in the vehicle.)
- The importance of seat belts and why it’s the law
- How to inform the police about any accidents or road incidents
- Informing parents about any police interactions
Setting clear expectations will help your teen realize that every action comes with a consequence, especially with driving. For example:
- Driving curfew: In PA, any driver under 18 has is not permitted to operate a vehicle after 11pm.
- Limit of passengers: The law in PA states that a new teen driver cannot have more than one other passenger that is under the age of 18.
- Being prepared for safe driving experiences, in regard to weather and road conditions
- Is the vehicle equipped with spare tire/jack, jumper cables, snow scraper, first aid kit, etc? Is the driver familiar with these items and able to operate them in an emergency?
- What are the consequences for broken rules? Setting clear expectations and consequences may help to avoid breaking the rules in the first place.
After the rules are set in place, revisit and revise every few months as your teen gains experience. Encourage them to be honest with you about their experiences.
Although it can be nerve-racking to have a new teen driver, it is important to have trust in them and to have these conversations more than once. Keep in mind that our kids don’t always do as we say, they do as we do, so being a good example in regard to safety precautions will also set them up to be a more successful driver.
Andy’s Auto Service offers a solution to new drivers that gives them the opportunity to learn the basic fundamentals of a vehicle with hands on interactions. We also give them the opportunity to have a conversation with special guest Bridgeville Police Officer before they hit the road.
To learn more or to register for an upcoming teen driver workshop, visit: www.andysautobridgeville.com/workshops