Sweet Sixteen: 5 Precautions Before Letting Them Get Behind the Wheel

teen girl smiling while sitting in driver's seat

Turning 16 is an exciting time for any teenager, especially one who has just learned how to drive. There are a few precautions you can take to ensure that you are protecting both your child and your property.

1. Practice makes perfect

The more you drive with your child, the more comfortable he or she will become when it is time to drive alone. Your child will be more than willing to drive with you when you are calm and collected as a passenger.

2. Eliminate distractions

Distractions include everything from cell phones to friends in the backseat. The more restrictions you put on these distractions, the safer your child will be on the road. Talk about the dangers of listening to music too loud, like not hearing squealing breaks coming from the car behind them. Passengers in the car should understand that the driver needs to concentrate, especially in new scenarios. Of course you should also put a ban on using the cell phone and texting while driving.

3. Talk about controlling emotions behind the wheel

Some people have serious road rage or are easily encouraged to race others on the road. Discuss techniques your teenager can use while driving to stay calm. This includes deep breathing and pulling off the road for a few minutes to get away from problem drivers.

4. Keep the car in good working order

Your child is less likely to get into an accident or break down along the side of the road if the car is in great condition. You should be checking the car’s brakes and fluid levels regularly. You should be checking the tires for flats every time you stop for gas. In fact, your child should know how to look for these things too.

Keeping the car in good working order means you need to have your trunk full of emergency equipment. This includes flares, flashlights, jumper cables and a simple tire repair kit.

5. Have a good attorney on hand

It is entirely possible that your child will get into a car accident. If this is the case, you want to know which Utah car accident attorney to call. Do your research ahead of time and save yourself the trouble when you have an actual emergency.

Even though your teenager has a driver’s license, you are the parent. Establishing rules and setting up other precautions could save your child’s life.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents of new drivers.

head shot of Brionna Kennedy Brionna Kennedy is native to the Pacific Northwest, growing up in Washington, then moving down to Oregon for college. She enjoys writing on fashion and business, but any subject will do, she loves to learn about new topics. When she isn’t writing, she lives for the outdoors. Oregon has been the perfect setting to indulge her love of kayaking, rock climbing, and hiking.

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