|Teen Drivers: Boys AND Girls Need to be Prepared|
Don’t hide your excitement for this new step in your son’s or daughter’s life. Ask them if they have any uneasiness about any areas of driving. You need to make sure they are prepared for:
- Safety and navigation in unfamiliar areas
- Basic car maintenance
- Breakdowns and flat tires
- General traveling safety
- Defensive driving
- What to do in the event of an accident
- NEVER using phone while driving (safest choice)
- Obeying traffic laws
- How to handle being pulled over
Discuss personal family rules about curfews, boundaries and other topics beforehand to help the transition go smoother. It is okay to also help your child understand what is going on at your end. This is a transition for you as well. I remember my eldest son telling the next one in line, ‘be prepared to run out for milk, or butter, or a stamp or fast food now that you can drive’. In overhearing this, I had an opportunity to share with second child and all others down the line how this was “new” for me to. I explained “as you are growing up, when I send you out it is helping me to let go. Each time you come home safe and sound; it helps me not worry when you are gone for a long time. Think of it as breaking your parents in to your new experiences.” Sorry Son, Number One” I didn’t give you this speech; it was your words that helped me to recognize the why behind the what. It also made me laugh thinking “that’s why kids think their parents are crazy!”
Spend some time with your teen driver asking how he or she would handle certain situations from the above list. “What would you do if you made a wrong turn and ended up in a neighborhood you thought looked dangerous?” “How would you handle being pulled over by police?” “How do you handle someone dangerously tailgating you?” “What are the things you need to do if you are in an accident?”
Your new driver might be impatient with you. Keep the doors of communication open by reminding them that this is a part of your relationship maturing from child and parent, to responsible young adult and parent. The point being NOT to drive each other nuts.
Remember, driving has changed very much since you were a teen driver. Make sure there are maps in the car and your child knows how to use them. Include a small address book with important phone numbers. Today’s majority of young adults are very dependent on electronics, which sometimes fail. Many do not memorize phone numbers as we used to and many rely heavily of navigation systems. When electronic back-ups fail, this can put your loved one in a frightening or dangerous situation.
Whether your teen driver is using your car, or his own, make them aware of roadside service you may have. Keep pertinent information in the car and let your teen know what everything is and where it is located. Make sure your teen knows how to change a tire, check the oil and know how to replenish washer fluid. They should have a basic understanding of the other fluids, their purposes and troubleshooting the need for them, whether or not the car gives a light up alert on the dash board.
With a Free Quote for Teens leading to affordable car insurance for teens, make sure you ask about any special offers or discounts your young adult may be eligible for. You may also want to price compare on having your teen on your auto insurance policy or having a separate auto insurance policy for teen drivers.