As a parent of a teen, you regularly worry about your child’s well-being and safety. You may be especially worried when your teen is out driving here New Jersey. The roads can have many dangers for teens. This can particularly be the case this time of year.
We are currently in what some refer to as the “100 Deadliest Days.” This period, which goes from Memorial Day to Labor Day, tends to see a particularly high number of fatal accidents involving teen drivers in the United States. In 2016, there was an average of 10 fatalities a day from such crashes during this period.
So, as this period is beginning this year, you may wonder what you can do to protect your teen from auto accidents and their potentially fatal results. We’ll now go over three steps parents may find helpful.
1. Set driving safety rules for your teen
As a parent, you may have a range of rules aimed at keeping your teen safe, from a curfew to restrictions on what places he or she is allowed to go. You may want to add driving safety rules to this list, such as through forming a safe driving agreement with your young driver. This can help set clear expectations for your teen on what is and isn’t acceptable behind the wheel.
When it comes to such rules, it can be important to give careful thought to which ones to put in place. You may want to set rules that are stricter than traffic safety laws. Not all the things that could pose dangers to your child’s safety behind the wheel are directly banned by such laws. Also, make sure to enforce the rules you set.
2. Talk to your teen about traffic safety
It can be important that you don’t limit your driving-related discussions with your teen to just the setting of rules. Helping kids understand why the rules are there can go a long way in making them more likely to follow them. So, having open and honest discussions with your teen about traffic safety issues can be critical. Among the topics you may want to discuss are the dangers associated with:
- Nighttime driving
- Driving with lots of passengers
- Driving distractions, like cell phones
- Driving when tired
Also, you may want to let your teen know you are always willing to answer questions he or she may have about how to act out on the roads.
3. Set a good example
Along with what you say, how you act around your teen driver can matter greatly when it comes to traffic safety. One of the ways your teen may learn about how to behave behind the wheel is by watching how you drive. So, it can be important to keep your driving habits consistent with how you would like your teen to act behind the wheel. Cutting safety corners when it comes to your own driving through things like speeding or talking on the phone while driving could send your child the wrong message.
We hope this summer will prove to be a safe one for all teen drivers out on New Jersey’s roads.