Keeping Your Teenager Safe on the Road
They’ve turned 16, and cannot wait to get behind the wheel, which forces you to face an important assignment – finding a good d driving school.Still, even with all the preparations in place, letting your teenager get behind the wheel can be a daunting prospect. Needless to say, a little caution is sensible: according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving Canada, road accidents are the leading cause of death for 16-25 year olds. Luckily there are steps you can take to keep your teen safe on the road.
Lead by example
Parents are the most important role models in their children’s lives and this includes driving. They will imitate how you behave in the car so it’s important to make sure your own driving safety is up to scratch. Seatbelts should be worn at all times, stay off your phone, keep your passengers under control and generally practice what you preach.
Teach them well
In Ontario, a holder of a G1 license must wait 12 months before taking the road test that will enable them to drive independently or eight if they take an MTO approved driver education course. During this time, your child can drive when accompanied by a licensed driver with at least four years experience. Do not waste this opportunity to help your child practice! Although teaching styles may vary, there are many great strategies for teaching your teen driver. Remain calm and supportive at all times. It is very important not to encourage your teenage driver to try driving situations they are not ready for. They can be challenged in the instructor’s car; the time with you is for them to consolidate their skills and gain confidence. Practice routes they will do regularly once they pass their road test, such as the way to school, grandma’s house or their part time job.
Educate them about the dangers of alcohol
Amongst grade 12 students in Ontario, 83% admitted to using alcohol and 49% admitted to binge drinking. Assuming that your teenage driver has no contact with alcohol is unrealistic but teaching them about the dangers of drink driving is paramount. In almost two thirds of teen driving fatalities, the young person killed had been drinking. Share these statistics with your teen and discuss the risks of drink driving in a calm, non-judgemental manner. Go through situations in which a teen might be tempted to drink drive, such as driving after drinking too much accidentally at a friend’s house, and suggest other options.
Whilst it is sensible to be cautious, you should not let your anxiety prevent your teen from enjoying the huge benefits of driving. With a little support from you, your teenager can stay safe on the road.