So your little girl is no longer little. In fact, she’s ready to get her license. This can be a nerve racking time for any parent. And while you want your teen to learn independence, she also needs to learn that being a driver is a huge responsibility. While you may not always be there to advise and watch her every step of the way, there are some things you can do to help your teen be a safe driver.
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Set the Rules
Just like with every other challenge a parent faces, setting some basic rules when it comes to your teen driving is beneficial. Of course the most common rules are ones like always wearing a seatbelt, obeying traffic laws, never driving under the influence, and never texting while driving. Other rules could include things like requiring your teen to maintain certain grades for the privilege of driving, and/or having them contribute a certain amount toward the car insurance.
My father laid down the law right from the start. The first rule being that if I wanted a car, I had to get a part time job to help pay for it which included my paying for my own gas, oil changes and half my insurance. I also had to keep my grades up if I wanted to use my car. All of this worked to make me more aware of the huge responsibility I was undertaking by being a teen driver.
Control Access to a Car
Controlling access to a car basically means your teen does not have their own car to start with. Instead, she shares the family car. Not only can this save you a lot of money, it can also help your teen become more responsible and learn how to drive carefully since she is using a car that also belongs to other members of the family.
Draw Up a Driving Agreement
When it comes to the setting the rules, drawing up a parent-teen driving agreement can be a huge help. This is basically an agreement that lists the rules your teen has to follow both on and off the road, and the consequences if she breaks them. Some things to include could be passenger limits, dealing with distractions, off-limit hours and who pays for any tickets (tip -your teen should, not you). When drawing up the agreement, you and your teen should sit down and draft it together. This will make it more likely that the rules will be followed. Both of you will need to sign it.
Thanks to today’s technology, you can now know exactly what type of driver your child is when you’re not around. There are all sorts of electronic monitoring devices out there including several smartphone apps and plug-in devices that use the car’s computer diagnostics. These devices can let you know (sometimes in real time) when if your child is speeding or if they are driving erratically. You can also be notified if your teen is sing the car past their curfew or if he or she stops at an unplanned destination.
Just keep in mind that if you do choose to use electronic monitoring, there is a good chance that your teen may be exasperated or even angry at you at first. But it may also decrease the likelihood of your teen speeding, driving distracted, or developing other dangerous driving habits.
If you are looking for a first car for your teen, or if you just want to make sure the one you have is in top shape, visit Hoffman Automotive in Hagerstown MD where families have been coming for their automotive needs for over 87 years!