Parents: we feel your pain. If you have a teen that just got their license, we know it can be daunting to watch them drive off into the sunset. But with that trepidation comes a sense of calm and reassurance on your part knowing they are independent and don’t need you to cart them around everywhere.
That independence comes with a lot of risk, of course, as they navigate the roadways on their own for the first time. Sometimes, accidents occur that require body repair work. As long as they are OK, you can focus on fixing the resulting damage to their vehicle, which can get costly and inconvenient.
Parents, heed these tips on how to help your novice teen driver avoid an accident.
1. Ease Their Anxiety
Your teen driver is probably very excited to get behind the wheel and take off on their own. But what they may not tell you is how anxious they feel about it at the same time. Let them know you recognize the stress that comes with driving, which increases the likelihood of crashes, especially on busy roads. Tell them to pull over when safe and allow tailgating cars and other traffic to go around them so they don’t feel rushed. Pressure leads to rash decisions, which can have dire consequences.
2. Warn About the Dangers of Smart Phones
While no one should use the phone when driving, this especially goes for teens. That’s because cell phone use is a top cause of distracted driving crashes. Tell them to refrain from using their phone when on the road, even for using hands-free options. That’s because their attention can still be split between talking and driving. They should put their phone in the glove compartment or back seat, or only use a smart phone for GPS purposes only.
3. Limit the Amount of Passengers
Too many teens in a car is dangerous, especially with all the distractions, music and yelling going on. The CDC says the mere presence of teen passengers in a vehicle boosts the crash risk of unsupervised teen drivers. That risk is enhanced even more with every additional teen passenger that’s in the car. Some states don’t allow new drivers to drive anyone other than a family member during the first six months of having a license.
4. Limit Night Time Driving
Unless your teen’s job requires it, you would be wise to limit night driving if possible, as many fatal accidents occur when darkness descends. Not only is it more difficult to see at night, their reaction time may be slower. It’s also easier to fall asleep at the wheel at night time. They should not drive unsupervised after 10 p.m. Perhaps your state even has a curfew for new drivers, whereby they can’t drive by themselves between midnight and 5 a.m.
Hopefully these suggestions help increase the safety of your new teen driver!
Contact Top Tier Auto Body
Of course, we all want everyone to be safe. But in the unfortunate event your teen has been in an accident that requires body work, contact us to schedule an appointment at 469-468-9991 or fill out our online form.