Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens (ages 15 to 19) in the US, ahead of all other types of injury, disease or violence.
To support National Teen Driver Safety Week, we wanted to follow our earlier driver safety post with tips for parents of teen drivers, who play a pivotal role in helping to keep young drivers safe.
Check out our tips for parents of teen drivers below:
Be Ready In Case There’s a Collision
We hope a crash never occurs, but your teen needs to be ready in case one ever does.
Make sure your teen knows what to do, where to move and what documents, e.g., vehicle registration and insurance cards, are needed.
To get help at your teen’s side as fast as possible in the event of a collision, Zendrive recently partnered with Life360 to power Life360 Driver Protect. This service automatically detects if your teen driver is in a serious accident and immediately contacts emergency responders and family members. Life360 Driver Protect also delivers Safe Drive Reviews, providing families with actionable insights about their driving habits.
Unlike other crash response services, Life360 Driver Protect doesn’t require purchasing and installing an expensive device in your teen’s car. Life360’s app-based solution travels with your teen on their smartphone. This means you and your teen automatically get assistance when and where it’s needed most.
To use the Life360 Driver Protect service now or download the Life360 app on Android or iOS, visit https://www.life360.com/driverprotect.
Ride With Your Teen
Parents are the key to igniting safe driving habits. Ride in the passenger seat with your teen for at least 30 hours before letting them roam the roads solo.
Provide guidance and feedback in real-time so they can improve their skills on your watch.
Even after they start driving on their own, accompany your teen on rides intermittently to check on their progress.
Set an Example
When it comes to texting and driving, speeding, drinking and driving, not buckling up, or any other unsafe driving behavior, set the tone and lead by example.
Every time you get behind the wheel, your teen driver is watching and taking mental notes on your every move.
Remember: “Do as I say, not as I do” never works.
Make Sure They Get Enough Sleep
Did your teen pull an all nighter finishing a paper? If so, give them a ride and make sure they rest before getting behind the wheel.
Exhausted, drowsy drivers cause thousands of crashes every year. Don’t increase the risk for your teen.
If you can’t drive them yourself, arrange a ride with another parent or friend, or ask your teen to take public transport or hail a rideshare. Not sure about the safety of rideshares? Check out this study that found that rideshare drivers are safer than average drivers.
Teach Your Teen to Share
You taught them to share food, toys and games. Now teach them to share the road.
Remind them to be courteous to fellow drivers, and make sure they recognize that certain vehicles, like large trucks and emergency vehicles, demand extra care and attention.
For instance, make sure your teen understands that a truck’s blind spot is much larger than their own. Trucks also need more time and space to stop and change lanes. Other special vehicles like construction vehicles and ambulances also need extra attention, and your teen needs to heed to their active signs and sirens.
Ensure Extra Caution Around Bicyclists and Pedestrians
Just like large and special vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians need extra attention from your teen driver.
Bicyclists and pedestrians are harder to see because they are smaller. Furthermore, bicyclists have the same rights as other drivers, e.g., they need to be given at least 3 feet of distance on the road.
Make sure your teen understands the need to be extra aware and cautious at crosswalks and in intersections.
Set Clear Rules
Be upfront about your expectations.
You may not be able to force your teen to follow your rules all the time, but having clear rules can help save lives.
Make sure other parents, friends and relatives know your rules as well so they can help enforce them when you’re not around.
Go Through Roadside and Maintenance Protocol
Walk your teen through roadside protocol, such as what steps they need to take if a warning light comes on, how to change a tire or how to jump start a car.
Teach your teen how to read tire pressure recommendations, how to check the oil level and other regular maintenance checks.
For additional coverage of our partnership with Life360, read this article on Recode. For more information on Life360 Driver Protect, go to https://www.life360.com/driverprotect.
Visit www.zendrive.com and follow us @zendrive.
Also published on Medium.