Part of growing up is getting a driving licence. Once they have that coveted license, teenagers gain a new level of independance, are eager to get out of the house and hit the road with their friends, and often there is little the parents can do to reign them in. So how do parents keep their teenage drivers as safe as possible? Here are ten safety tips which we have compiled.
Based on the distance driven, teenagers have almost three times the number of fatal car accidents as any other drivers and that risk is highest during the first year of driving. To reduce this risk, parents should restrict driving to necessary trips such as going to work or school only.
A teenager's car should be fitted with new tyres that are properly inflated. It is also very important to keep an eye on the tyre tread as it is essential to replace them when worn.
If the brakes do not work properly, the risk of an accident is increased. Take the vehicle to a local mechanic to check brake discs, brake lines, anti-lock braking, and the brake pads.
A teenager needs a car with a good steering and suspension system, especially on older cars. Worn ball joints and bushings can cause imprecise steering and wear out tyres, which may lead to an accident.
The risk of a crash increases with the number of teenagers in the vehicle. When two or more teenagers are in the same car, this increases by more than five times. Parents should set ground rules about how many people are allowed in the car at any given time.
More accidents involving teenagers happen at night, so parents should consider restricting night driving. Teenagers should drive when they are well rested and alert.
If a driver cannot see properly, the chance of an accident is increased. Windscreens on older cars can often be pitted or scratched. If a windscreen is pitted or scratched, get a new one installed. Always make sure the windscreen wipers are in good working order.
A GPS is helpful for teenage drivers who may otherwise take stupid chances when they are lost, or think that they are late or will be in trouble for something.
Build an emergency roadside kit for the car. Fill a backpack with road flares, reflective triangle, flashlight, radiator stop-leak, fire extinguisher, first aid kit, a blanket, duct tape, and a tyre inflator.
When your teenager obtains a driving licence, make sure that they have sufficient car insurance. Additionally, make sure that a teenager never lends out the family car to another teenage driver as this could result in a lawsuit.