How can parents help young drivers?

Ella Mason, an experienced freelance writer, wrote this article. Ella specialises in providing useful and engaging advice to small businesses. Follow her on Twitter @ellatmason

As parents, it is but natural to worry about our children’s wellbeing the moment they step out of the door. This feeling intensifies when they reach their teenage years. They get in more serious scrapes and troubles, compared to scraped knees in the playground or spilled juice on their shirts. Here are some tips to help them when they become young drivers:

Inform them of the risks

About one in every five young drivers gets into an accident within the first year of becoming drivers. These accidents often happen within five miles from home or school. The risk of being in an accident is also directly proportional with the number of passengers in the car, and all the more if all of them are teenagers. Traffic accidents caused by teenage drivers are also the leading cause of death in teenagers aged 17-19.

To counter these statistics, information is a key factor. Inform your children of the risks involved. Point out news involving accidents on the road involving young people of their age bracket. By informing them of these risks, your children will be more amenable to taking care while on the road.

Safety Pledge

Whether or not you will be buying the car for them, you have to talk with your child about firm rules when driving a car. These rules can include wearing seatbelt, not playing loud music, or restricting the number of people they can bring as passengers. Ask the child for a pledge or a promise to abide by these rules. Make them realize that these rules are only for their safety and benefit, and are not curtailment of their freedom.

Find a good car

If you are getting them a car, then you have more leeway to choose the most appropriate and safest car for your child. However, if they will be buying and choosing their own cars, then you may give them a few pointers when choosing cars. Remind them that secondhand cars may be cheaper but they run a higher risk of breaking down or getting into an accident because of wear and tear in the car parts.

Brand new cars may be more expensive but you’ll save in insurance premiums and costs of repairs as they come with warranty and are less likely to break down. Assist them in getting insurance coverage or offer to pay the premiums so they will get the more appropriate coverage. Some young drivers tend to get the Third party Liability only insurance coverage as they come cheaper, but leaving their own cars without protection.

Supervision

Impose rules that restrict their driving privileges until they have logged enough driving experience. Don’t let them drive late at night when they might already be sleepy or tired. Prohibit the use of earphones while driving, as well as the use of mobile phones. Remind them that if they get caught driving while texting or using the phone, they may get penalty points on their license, which can eventually lead to them losing their license altogether. Being distracted by music, a mobile phone or even having friends in the car can cause a lethal accident.