For teenagers, heading back to school can mean increased driving. But before you let your teenager drive to school, sporting events or on trips with friends, you should make sure he knows how to drive safely.
The first few months behind the wheel can feel overwhelming. Try not to criticize teenagers’ driving. Instead, make sure that your son or daughter knows that they can ask you questions.
Make your “driving safety” talk part of a special trip or treat, so young drivers feel comfortable. Ensure that teens get your message: I trust you behind the wheel, but driving is both a privilege and an important responsibility.
The experts at Firestone Complete Auto Care suggest that parents discuss the following topics with their teens:
– Gadgets and Gizmos. New drivers might not understand all of the lights, buttons and meters that surround the wheel. Explain the dashboard. Make sure your teenager can adjust his seat and check his mirrors.
– Teach Basic Maintenance.You don’t want your teenager driving an out-of-shape car, so teach your teenager to check the oil and other automotive fluids. Make sure that teenagers can check and adjust tire pressure. You might also want to teach your teen how to attach a spare tire in case of a blow-out.
– Set Realistic Travel Times. More traffic is on the road when teenagers head to school, so caution them to set their alarm clock a bit early. If your son or daughter has slept in, tell them to accept the delay. You don’t want them speeding, tailgating or weaving through traffic to make up for lost time.
– Aggression Isn’t Worth It. Make sure your teenager knows not to engage aggressive drivers. If your teenager meets an aggressive driver on the road, tell them to move out of the way and let the other vehicle pass. If an aggressive driver pursues your teen, let them know that they should call the police and pull into a well-lit, populated area to get help.
A driver’s license shouldn’t mean a fight with your teenager. Instead, strengthen your relationship by allowing your son or daughter to earn your trust and express their growing independence.