There is nothing more indicative of growing up and blossoming into an adult like picturing your teenager at the wheel. You may be reeling from the bouts of anxiety you feel from knowing that your baby is no longer safely strapped away in her car seat, but rather behind the wheel. However alarming this may be, you can help prepare yourself for this inevitable transition from child to adulthood with some light preparation.
Become Aware of the Law
Knowing you have a teenager also means that your lovely, perfect angel is also probably experimenting, making risky choices and facing peer pressure at every turn. As reported by teendriversource.org, the fatal crash rate for drivers ages 16 to 19, based on miles driven, is four times higher than for drivers ages 25 to 69. As terrifying as this may be, you can prepare by becoming aware of driving laws in your state and getting your teen involved in learning the stats specific to your state. If you live in Florida, for example, you can visit driving-tests.org to learn all of the rules that matter and are tested in this state.
Prepare for the Worst
Knowing the law is the first step in helping your teen become a safe driver. The next step is recognizing that accidents do happen and that knowing how to handle such a situation is useful in making the best out of a bad situation. You can help your teen prepare by enrolling him in courses that can help him become more savvy about how to handle tough situations. Both Driver’s Ed and Defensive Driving are excellent courses that can help your teen become a safer driver. With a little research, you can find out what the age requirements are in your state. In Washington, you can attend a Driver’s Ed course as early as 15 years old, and in Montana you can be 14 when you enroll, proving that laws vary from state to state but what remains the same is the benefit of early education.
Practice Makes Perfect
If Driver’s Ed doesn’t cut it for you in terms of preparation, you can also choose to check out other programs designed to cover what it may not. One such program, Driver’s Edge, employs professionals to specifically target the unusually high number of teen accidents. While the founding office is based out of Las Vegas, this program travels across the country and educates parents and teens alike. You can check out their offerings at driversedge.org.
Teenagers are looking to make their mark in the world and rules and regulations often appear as impositions on their independence. So don’t be surprised when from time to time, they do act out and in ways that make you cringe. You can, however, make clear that the car is not the place to challenge authority by sharing stories of other teens who made choices that resulted in fatal errors.
According to health.harvard.edu, preventing driving accidents with teens can be as simple as setting the right limitations. So, instead of being concerned with where your teen is driving, consider how he is driving. By stressing the behaviors that good drivers exhibit, you can help your teen start to model these behaviors.