Decades ago, the most effective way to tell teens about the dangers of driving was through the gruesome and over dramatized movies shown in driver’s education classes across America. While the images of blood and broken glass on a dark highway may still stand out in your mind, newer generations may need a more honest approach with discussion of realities (although blood and glass is still very real).
As a parent, your ultimate goal may be teaching your teen driver about the dangers of the road before he or she has the unfortunate opportunity of experiencing an accident first hand; sometimes one does not need to learn a lesson through experience. Here are some tools to help you get the message across to your teen driver that the road can be a dangerous place:
Keeping Track of Your Teen’s Driving
You can give your teen all of your words of wisdom and even ride with him or her until he or she becomes comfortable on the road, but at some point you’ll have to hand over the keys to your son and daughter and trust that he or she has the smarts to drive safely on the road. Car makers, such as Chevy, are including tracking technology in their cars so you know how your teen is really driving without sitting in the passenger seat. Teen Driver, is showcased in the 2016 Chevy Malibu and keeps track of driving habits such as speed, forward collision alerts, and forward collision avoidance braking. While many teen drivers may roll their eyes in protest, the technology is meant to be a teaching tool and allow parents and teens to have honest discussions about driving and to prevent dangerous driving habits from sticking.
Driver’s education courses do a good job of teaching your young driver the basics, but like any information, it needs to be visited often and in different ways to really stick. If you’re concerned how your teen may drive during dangerous road conditions or whether or not he or she takes distracted driving seriously, there are numerous apps to help to reinforce the importance of safe driving. Here are a few to check out:
- Steer Clear: This program through State Farm Insurance, teaches young drivers proper driving procedures and can make he or she eligible for insurance discounts. The program can be done on any home computer or the app can be downloaded on a variety of smartphones or devices. Some features include the ability to log driving time, mileage and road conditions. It’s a way for parents and drivers to measure progress and experience. If you aren’t a State Farm customer, check with your insurance provider to see if they have a comparable program.
It Can Wait: Your teen is smart and he or she knows that distracted driving is a real problem, but the temptation is often strong while behind the wheel. Make your teen driver accountable for his or her actions behind the wheel and engage in a discussion about distracted driving. The It Can Wait campaign has some great tools and apps to give young drivers a real look at the dangers of distracted driving without experiencing the pain and trauma of a preventable accident. Your teen driver will also have the opportunity to make a pledge to be a safer and more responsible driver.