Turning sixteen and getting a drivers license is one of the most important milestones of a teenager’s life. It provides them with a freedom they have never had. But along with that freedom comes a huge responsibility that many teenagers aren’t ready for. As a parent, you have a responsibility as well: preparing your children for the potential dangers of getting behind the wheel.
Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for 15 to 20-year-olds in the U.S. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a simple conversation with your child can make all the difference in turning that statistic around.
Here are 5 rules you should talk to your teenager about before they get behind the wheel:
- No Alcohol—29% of 15- to 20-year old drivers killed in accidents had been drinking. Instill in your teenager the dangers of underage drinking, and make a plan so they never feel like they have to get behind the wheel intoxicated.
- No cell phone use while driving—Talking or texting while driving leads to thousands of crashes every year. Make sure your teenager knows that their car is a “no cell zone.”
- No riding without a seatbelt—No matter how short a trip, your youth should have a seatbelt on at all times. No exceptions.
- No speeding—It’s easy to feel like you’re invincible at sixteen, but the reality is speed kills. Following speed limits leads to safer driving and fewer tickets.
- No extra passengers—NHTSA data reveals that your teenager is more likely to engage in dangerous behaviors when riding with one or more other teenagers. Don’t allow other teens in your child’s car until you feel they’re ready.
Getting a license is exciting for every teenager. However, it also opens your child up to new dangers. A simple conversation now can save your child’s life. The car accident attorneys at Stewart & Stewart encourage you to have that conversation today.