David Letterman may be losing popularity, but Top 10 lists are still in. Here is a list of theTop 10 Ways Parents Can Influence Their Teens to Drive Safely:
10. Buckle-Up. Create a standard of seatbelt use in
your family while your children are young. Make all passengers buckle-up
every time you drive.
9. Create a Teen Driving Contract to outline acceptable and unacceptable behaviors while driving or use a contract already developed by a driving school such as National Driver Training. A good contract will provide realistic consequences for contract violations.
8. Be an Example of Safe Driving. Follow the same rules that you set for your teen. Admit when your wrong and work on better driving habits.
7. No Cell Phones or Texting. Take a "zero tolerance" stance on the use of portable electronic devices while driving. Studies are now showing that cell phone use while driving is as dangerous as drinking and driving. Texting is even worse because it takes the drivers attention, hands, and eyes away from the task of driving.
6. No DUI, DWI, DWAI, or Drowsy Driving. Also adopt a "zero tolerance" policy on driving while ability impaired. Expand your definition to include drowsiness as well as use of drugs, alcohol, or medicines that affect perception or reaction time.
5. Proactively Address Speeding because speeding limits options and is a major contributor to teen driver fatalities. Don't just prohibit speeding; show your teen how pointless it is. While driving in town, point out the speeders and then point them out again when you meet them at the next red traffic light. Talk about how speeding wastes gas.
4. Limit Your Teen's Driving at Night and During Bad Weather. Expose your teen to difficult driving conditions while on a permit and then restrict driving during difficult conditions during the first year on a license.
3. Emphasize "Searching". Teens are used to walking down a school hallway looking only at the person in front of them. Train your teen to search the whole driving environment by looking well ahead, checking left-right-left again at intersections, and knowing what is happening to the rear of the car.
2. Know Your State's Graduated Driver Licensing Laws and make sure your restrictions meet or exceed the state's restrictions. Set heavy restrictions on when, where, and with whom your teen may drive when the license is first obtained. Gradually ease those restrictions as your teen gains experience and proves himself or herself to be a safe driver.
1. Extensive Experience. New drivers need 50 to 75 hours of supervised driving experience to develop their driving skills and create safe driving habits. While your teen is on a permit, make him/her drive, drive, and drive some more under a variety of driving conditions to include urban and rural areas, good and bad weather, day and night driving, high and low traffic, and especially those areas your teen will need to drive once the license is earned.