Teens can make more errors in judgment than other drivers. They are also likely to drive differently and take more risks when an adult is not in the car. Talk to your teen about their judgment and risk taking. Comment on your own driving when your teen is in the car. Explain the reasons for the driving decisions you make. Reinforce your discussions whenever you see your teen make errors in judgment.
Give teens opportunities to practice driving
Teens lack driving experience. It takes a lot of practice to be able to handle everyday driving situations – and even more to handle the unexpected. Teens show the greatest improvement within the first year and 1,000 miles of driving.
Teens will continue to improve through their first 5,000 miles of driving. What should parents do to help them travel these miles safely?
- Set limits.
- Work with your teen.
- Practice, practice, practice.
Talk about risk-taking
Risk-taking is a normal part of teen development. Teens may engage in a number of risky driving behaviors. These include speeding, running red and yellow lights, running stop signs, tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic, not keeping a safe distance, misjudging gaps in traffic and misjudging the capability of their vehicle. Watch for these situations when you’re in the car with your teen. Emphasize the importance of smart driving decisions.