Parents may worry about their newly-licensed teen motorists. While they likely learned safety tips in drivers-ed, the classroom and behind-the-wheel training can’t prepare them for everything.
According to Value Penguin, more than 400 Florida teens died in auto crashes between 2013-2017. While Florida’s stats are less grim than other states, no parent wants to get that dreaded visit from a highway trooper.
Luckily, parents can lower the risk of their teen getting injured or killed behind the wheel by giving them some practical safety tips.
What should I tell my child?
While they may not always want to listen to mom and dad, their lives and others are on the line when they’re driving. Here are some important reminders:
- Always wear a seatbelt: While Florida law requires all drivers to buckle up, wearing a seatbelt can also save lives. According to Consumer Reports, more than half of 16-20 year-olds killed in fatal crashes weren’t properly strapped in. Seatbelts and airbags can often help reduce the blow of a collision or blunt trauma.
- Watch the forecast: Florida weather can be a wildcard. While it’s known as the Sunshine State, some seasons can be dangerous for drivers. That’s especially the case between August and October, Florida’s rainy season. Since your teen may not have the experience driving in inclement conditions, you may want to warn them about hitting the road during these times.
- Limit the number of passengers: If your teen is the first to get their license out of all their friends, they might feel a sense duty to be the primary chauffeur. However, multiple studies show that teens are more likely to be distracted drivers when more people are in the vehicle.
- Limit nighttime driving: Many teens like to stay out late. However, driving at night can be dangerous. A recent study shows that numerous teen driving deaths typically occur between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m..
You can help protect your teen
Parents often want to protect their kids from any harm they may encounter. But when they’re out driving, they’re often bracing the elements on their own. Luckily, by giving them the right advice, you can reduce their risk of hurting themselves or others behind the wheel.