To help your teen be a safe driver, moms need to do more than go over the basics of parking, changing lanes and watching the speed limit. You also need to talk to your child about heavier topics like drinking and driving and handling bad weather. Here are four crucial lessons not to skip.
The key to making this lesson successful is to break it up into shorter, low-key talks. In addition to letting your teen know that you don’t approve of drinking and driving, explain why you feel this way. Your teen may roll his eyes and say, “I KNOW, mum!” but take the time to say how much you love him and want him to be happy and safe. Drink Aware discusses how even a small amount of alcohol will impair a person’s ability to drive. A zero-tolerance policy is the best option. Of course, being a good role model will go a long way in getting your point across. If you are out for dinner and enjoying a pint with your meal, ask your spouse to drive you home. This could prove to be an example for your teen and you would definitely not need the assistance of DUI lawyers (like the ones from Salwin Law) to fight their case.
To be sure your teen is a safe and well-rounded driver, he needs to learn how to handle driving through heavy rain or snow. RAC has some great tips on how to drive through a downpour. Tell your teen to use dipped headlights so other drivers can see the car, and to avoid using rear fog lights, which can mask the brake lights. Talk about the importance of driving slowly and tuning the radio into a local station that will give weather updates. If the storm is too intense or your teen feels uncomfortable, stress that it’s perfectly okay to pull over in a store parking lot and wait until it calms down.
Online Schools features a sobering infographic that illustrates how common texting and driving is among teens. Fifty-five percent of teens said they felt it was “easy” to text and drive, and 34 percent of them admit to having done it. Like the talk about drinking and driving, this one is also most effective when broken down into shorter chats. Teach your teen by word and example that texting and driving will not be tolerated. Keep your phone in your purse when you drive and if you hear the text alert ding, make it a point to say “It sounds like I just got a text. I will check it when we get back home.” Practicing what you preach will go a long way in teaching your teens to avoid the temptation of driving while “intexicated.”
Prepare for the Driving Test
Explain to your teen that getting a license requires more than reading through The Highway Code as quickly as possible and cramming for the theory exam. Go through the book together and point out how it is filled with vital information about the rules of the road that must be remembered every day, not just to pass a test. To help your teen prepare for the theory exam, visit a website like TopTests together; the free online resource is filled with practice exams that your teen can take at home. The more time your teen spends preparing for the theory test, the more likely he will remember the information while actually driving.