Knowing the right time your teen is capable of getting behind the wheel to drive can be a tough call.
For instance, is your teen someone who you can count on to act in a responsible manner should they begin driving? If not, are you concerned they are an accident waiting to happen?
From going for a learner’s permit to being a licensed driver, make sure they don’t take safety for granted.
So, when should your teen start to drive?
Safety Reins the Top Priority
In order for your teen to be as responsible as possible whenever they take to the roads, remember a few keys:
- Habits – If your teen is a little too carefree about life, it can come back to haunt them out on the roads. Make sure he or she takes their driving privileges in a serious manner. This means always obeying the rules of the road. It also requires them to avoid many distractions (see more below) that can put them and others in harm’s way.
- Distractions – Adults and teens can get distracted when behind the wheel of a car or truck. With that being the case, it is important for your teen to steer clear of distractions as much as possible. Phones, too involved with friends, and drinking alcohol are some distractions to avoid. When it comes to alcohol, give your teen a sobering reminder of how dangerous drinking and driving can be. Unfortunately, some teenagers do not get that message until it is too late.
- Respect – Your teen does not have to like all the people they will share the road with, but they should respect them. As an example, what will your teen do if he or she gets cut off by another driver? How would they react when someone is tailgating them for more than a few seconds? What kind of reaction would they offer if someone gets in front of them and goes slow? Staying cool and calm out there is paramount to being as safe as one can be. Your teen must respect others and the fact that they too have a right to be on the road. This is the case even if those others are not driving the way they should be.
- Maintenance – Last, will your teen do his or her part to maintain the vehicle they are driving? Whether the family vehicle or their own, they need to take vehicle maintenance in a serious way. To do otherwise is to put them and others at risk. Teach your teen to check tire inflation levels, fluid levels, and of course lights. If your teen senses or notices something is wrong, they should either tell you or take it and get it fixed on their own. By catching problems early on, you also teach your teen the importance of saving money. Letting vehicle issues go because one thinks they are saving funds is a recipe for disaster.
Major Step Forward in Life
Once your teen does in fact get their permit and of course their license, they’ve taken a major step forward in life.
Be sure to celebrate these achievements with them. In doing so, your teen will know how proud you are of them.
Last, do keep an eye on those your teen hangs out with.
Without being dominating, make sure your teen avoids being with the wrong crowd. If one or more of their friends has driving issues, talk to your teen about not riding with them.
At the end of the day, your teen’s well-being is what you should be driving for.