It’s the day every parent looks forward to the most: handing over the car keys to their newly-licensed teenage driver.
Well…maybe not quite! In fact, for most parents, this moment fills them with fear. Even if you raise the most conscientious, responsible teenager, driving is a skill that takes years of practice to perfect – and even then, nobody can control the actions of other drivers, weather, and the unexpected curveballs that drivers must contend with on the road. The new freedom that comes with being a licensed driver is thrilling for teenagers, less so for their parents.
Fortunately, there are many steps to take that can increase your teen’s safety on the road and maybe lessen your anxiety as a parent a bit.
Proper Driver’s Education is the Foundation for Safe Driving
The most important thing you can do to make sure you raise a safe and defensive driver is to model good driving behavior at all times. Regularly use your turn signals, drive under the speed limit, and yield to pedestrians, and your teen will know the basics of good driving etiquette.
Driver’s education is an invaluable resource for new drivers. In addition to teaching them the rules of the road, it helps to reduce anxiety around driving. Confident drivers are safer drivers, and practice with a certified driving instructor will take some of the pressure off of Mom and Dad to teach proper technique.
You may wonder why you’d spend the money and time chauffeuring your teen to driver’s education when all that’s required by your state is they pass a test provided by the Department of Motor Vehicles. Surprisingly, driver’s education courses are only required in 32 states for teenage drivers. Regardless, teen drivers who take driver’s education have fewer driving infractions and accidents than those who don’t.
In fact, a 2015 study by the University of Nebraska found that, on average, teen drivers who don’t complete driver’s education courses prior to being licensed are 75% more likely to get a traffic ticket, 24% more likely to be involved in a fatal or injury accident, and 16% more likely to have an accident overall. Driver’s education is the first step to making sure your teen is safe on the road.
Cars today also come with more safety features than ever before to help protect young drivers. Anti-lock brakes, blind spot detectors, and rear view backup cameras come standard in many vehicles made in the last decade, so even if your teen won’t be driving a brand new car, there are plenty of options for enhanced vehicle safety. Spend time with your teenage driver making sure they know how to use these safety features and know what different alarms and lights mean, and your teen will be in great shape when they start driving.
Monitor Your Teenage Driver for Safety
Are you worried about teenage hijinks once they start driving – like cutting class to go to the beach, or driving way too fast on the freeway? If your teen starts to take some liberties with their newfound freedom, then you can rest assured it’s typical adolescent boundary-testing – but that doesn’t make it any less stressful for parents, teachers, and loved ones.
LoJack brings you the peace of mind you need once your child starts to drive. With LoJack installed on your teen’s car, you can set geofence alerts, so you always know when the car has left a designated ‘safe’ area like the high school parking lot or your neighborhood. You can set speed alerts to monitor your teen’s speed on the roads, and LoJack’s technology will be all the evidence you need when they try to talk their way out of it! Teen drivers are some of the costliest drivers to insure, but LoJack may help bring your teen’s insurance rates down – especially when you can prove their trustworthiness as a driver.
Should the car get stolen, LoJack will be able to provide a detailed report directly to your local police precinct. With auto theft on the rise every year, LoJack technology can mean the difference between recovering your vehicle and the loss of an asset.
With a little planning and investment in your child’s driving skills, you don’t have to dread the day your teenager gets their driver’s license. Make it a day full of fun and memories, knowing you’ve done everything possible to prepare your child for the road ahead.
Originally published on April 1, 2022.