Saturday 5 August 2023

Driving and Car Safety for your Teen Driver


Image Credit: Pexels

{This is a collaborative post}

Your teen now drives. Going out with them in the car for the first time with them sitting behind the wheel is a sharp wake-up call. Your baby is no longer a baby, now they are in control of a large machine that can drive at speeds of 70mph (and that's if they are sticking to the speed limit) and can potentially cause serious harm, or even death. It's a bit scary when you put it like that, isn't it? Of course, the last thing you want to do is scare your teen but it is definitely worth having some serious conversations with them so they realise the full extent of the responsibility of driving alone on the roads. 

Here are a few pointers for discussion items that will help to give you peace of mind and to keep your teen safe -

Install a Car Tracker

Having a car tracker installed can be the ultimate peace of mind. You'll always be able to see where your teen is and if you've given them a radius of how far they can travel, you'll be able to spot (or even sent an alert if you set that feature to live) if they have breached that designated area. |As well as this, it is also important to have a tracker in case of theft and it makes the Police's job a lot easier if they know the location of your car. 

Get Black Box Insurance

Insurance can be a major cost when your teen first starts to drive, and one way to keep this cost down is to take (telematics) black box insurance. This device records how your teen is driving in regard to speed, braking distance, cornering, accelerating etc, and creates a score for their overall driving performance. If your teen knows they are being monitored and potentially their insurance premium could be impacted this will have a positive impact on their responsible driving. 

Set an Example

Once your teen is old enough to be interested in driving you should be setting a good example to them in your driving. Talk through the different maneuvers that you do, and why you make the driving decisions that you do, and also give them an awareness of how another's driving style might impact your safety. Demonstrating braking distances, using your mirrors and being aware of what is around you will make a marked difference. 

Pay for an Advanced Driver Course

Defensive driving could be the difference between an accident or not, so it is definitely worth investing in an advanced driver course for your teen. They will normally do around four sessions which will not only increase their driving confidence but also teach them a healthy respect and awareness of what is going on on the roads. Being aware of other drivers and driving to anticipate their errors is an essential life skill as far as I'm concerned. 

Discuss the Rules

This may seem very obvious but you need to have a conversation with your teen about what your expectations are for them driving, especially if you are footing the bill for their car, and associated costs.  Some people may assume their teen knows what is expected of them, but they are not mind readers. So spell out your expectations and make it really clear so there is no room for ambiguity.

  • How far can they travel?
  • Are there particular times they can use the car?
  • Who is responsible for fuel costs and maintenance?
  • Can they drive with friends in the car who are under the influence or smoking/ vaping?
  • What is the maximum number of passengers they can take?
  • Who will clean the interior and the exterior of the car?

Yes, it can seem a bit scary at first to have your teen driving but think of the time it will free up for you. They can become the taxi and take younger siblings places they need to go and you can make good use of this extra free time that you have gained back. Sit back, relax and enjoy the fact your teen is developing into a responsible adult. 

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