January is National Teen Driver Awareness Month, marking a rite of passage for young people by highlighting the need for teen driver safety training.
Here in Rhode Island, winter weather as we know can strike in as instant and with recent snowstorm Grayson blanketing the East Coast last week, it’s important for teen drivers to understand the importance of, and how to, drive safely.
Whether your teenager has just started learning to drive or has been driving for years now, it’s important to refresh safety tips for being behind the wheel! Ensuring the safety of yourself, your child, your passengers, and other drivers is essential before heading out on roads and highways.
But this is a troublesome time for many parents, who worry about their children’s safety. Teens enjoy showing off and they also carry a misguided sense of invincibility, which, when paired, can lead to dangerous road behavior. In fact, car crashes are the leading cause of death for drivers between ages 15 and 20. As a parent, you are your child’s first driving teacher. It’s important to lead by example, following safety precautions and traffic laws at all times while on the road. The values you instill in your teenager can guide his or her actions on the road and teaching your teen to drive safely can prevent him or her from becoming another tragic statistic. Keep an open line of communication between you and your teen as you teach him or her the following road safety tips:
- Buckle up: It’s been proven time and time again—seatbelts save lives. Every individual in the car should be buckled up. Also note that it’s not safe to pile more people into your car than you have seatbelts for. Wear a seat belt at all times!
- Follow the law: Traffic laws were created to keep everyone safe. Obey speed limits, lights and signs. Speeding is the leading cause of teenage accidents and it can easily be prevented.
- Prepare before driving: Get all of your gadgets situated before shifting into gear. Turn your music on, set you GPS and tuck away your phone. Playing with these devices distract your attention from the road, which could lead to dire consequences in as little as a few seconds.
- Avoid distractions such as (phones, radio, GPS directions): Never text, surf the web or play games on your cell phone while driving. Even taking or making phone calls can quadruple your risk of crashing. If you absolutely must take a call, use a hands-free headset. Avoid having emotional conversations that may distract your attention while behind the wheel. Always set your GPS and radio before starting the car!
- Always drive sober: Let’s face it—teenagers will party. Rather than telling them not to, explain the importance of choosing a designated driver. Your teen should never drive after drinking or using drugs, nor should he or she get in the car with a driver who has been drinking or using drugs. Encourage your teen to call home, at any hour, if a dangerous situation arises.Never drive when intoxicated.
- Try to avoid driving during high-risk hours either late at night or rush hours!
The prospect of your child behind the wheel is scary enough without them adding danger to their lives by picking up their phone, and showing off to their friends!
Insuring your teen driver adds another layer of protection. Call John Andrade Insurance Agency at (401) 253-6542 for more information on Rhode Island & Massachusetts auto insurance.