Are you at that point in life where you are losing sleep at night over the thought of your teen officially getting behind the wheel? If so, you are certainly not alone.
For millions of parents, the idea of their son or daughter driving can send shockwaves up and down their spines.
No, it isn’t so much that they are worried about what their child will do behind the wheel. In fact, they’re typically much more concerned about all of the other drivers out there on the roads. That concern can turn to downright anxiety before too long.
So, as 2017 gets set to unfold, are you prepared to do all you can to make sure your teen is as safe as possible when they drive off?
Do Your Research and Educate Your Teen
For you to feel a little better about your teen starting out driving, remember that he or she has had more than a decade of your guidance on myriad of issues. That said being out there on the open road is entirely different story. No matter how much you prepare them, it all comes down to commonsense and ultimately some luck.
So that your teen is as prepared as possible behind the wheel, keep these four tips in mind, notably when it comes to putting them in the right vehicle from day one:
- Research the Internet – Most importantly, put the time and effort into finding the right car or truck for your teen, especially if they will not be driving your vehicle. While it is not uncommon for many teens to drive their parents vehicles early on, others will oftentimes have another vehicle (typically used) to use as their primary mode of transportation. This can be a car or truck their parents went out and bought secondhand for them or an old family vehicle just sitting around. If going with the former option, be sure to look into which vehicle best suits the needs of your young one. You can not only use word-of-mouth (see more below) and local advertisements, but also the Internet as part of a search for a license plate lookup. In doing the latter, you can access information on not only each vehicle’s make and model, but also determine if there were any notable safety recalls. The more information you have before purchasing the vehicle, the better off you and your teen/s will be;
- Friends and family – You can also opt for keeping things close at home, choosing to turn to outside family and/or friends to help you secure a vehicle for your teen. If you have friends with kids similar in age to yours, it could be the perfect scenario. Not only do they have school and likely interests in common, they can learn off of one another about safe driving habits. One of those is making sure they have a dependable vehicle to drive. Spread the word around school, church, sports activities etc. so that you can locate a good vehicle. Also encourage your teen to share his or her safe driving tips and habits with their friends and vice-versa.
Pass Along Your Vehicle
- Keeping it in the house – For many families, the idea of using one of the family vehicles oftentimes ends up being the best solution. Instead of having to worry if they are buying a lemon from someone, parents know what they have out in their garage and/or driveway. Even if you do decide to stick with a family vehicle (typically the oldest one available) for your teen, be sure to have it thoroughly checked out by a mechanic. Making sure the brakes, engine, tires etc. are all in good working order will make things safer each time your young one takes to the road;
- Driver still matters – Last but not least, as important as vehicle safety is, the driver can never be taken out of the equation. Your teen must always practice safe driving habits. If they do not, they put themselves and others at risk. Just as you want to stress driving safety to any elderly family members still behind the wheel, the same holds true for the young members hitting the roads.