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Encouraging young motorists to drive safely

One rite of passage that many Seattle area teens look forward to is receiving their driver licenses. Many parents greet this moment in their adolescent children’s lives with pride. As exciting and momentous as this occasion may seem, they should remember there is a dark side to adolescents having their licenses. More “teens die from car accident injuries than any other type of injury,” states the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Teenagers can benefit from getting more experience behind the wheel so they know how to handle the various situations they may encounter. According to Today.com, there is a higher crash risk when teens are presented with new and unfamiliar situations. Parents should discuss the dangers with their adolescent kids to inform them about the dangers they face while they are behind the wheel. They should also encourage them to take a more active role in preventing car collisions. Here are some additional ways parents can help reduce the number of teenage motor vehicle wrecks that happen. 

Be a role model 

Teens often drive in the same manner as their parents. If you tend to speed, run yellow and red lights and resort to other reckless driving behaviors, you can expect your teen to do the same. Take some time to evaluate your driving behaviors and think about how you can change them to reflect the proper actions that safe and responsible drivers exhibit. 

Teach them to avoid road rage motorists 

Road rage is something that many drivers experience. They may have their reasons for speeding, tailgating and being aggressive towards other people. But their actions are often contagious, especially to teens who may think their behaviors are cool and acceptable. Discuss with your teens how dangerous it is for them to drive while angry and in a manner that endangers themselves and others. Teach them how to control their emotions, exercise good judgment and to avoid aggravating and pursuing other aggressive drivers. 

Avoid distractions 

Many drivers use distractions while they operate their vehicles. They believe that other motorists are focused on the roads. These same individuals may also believe that they have enough time to react when hazardous conditions arise. Parents should teach their young drivers to keep all of their attention on the roads and their driving responsibilities.

Teens may lack experience behind the wheel, but they can make up for it by driving safely. Parents should encourage them to use safe driving behaviors at all times.