Health knowledge made personal
Join this community!
› Share page:
Go
Search posts:

Tips for Parents of Teens: Summer Driving [Guest Post]

Posted Jun 28 2009 9:11pm

By:

Dan MacDonald, Executive Director of Communications for Bridgestone Americas, oversees corporate communications for Bridgestone Americas’ consumer road safety programs, including Think Before You Drive (www.thinkbeforeyoudrive.org) and Safety Scholars (www.safetyscholars.com).

TBYD:  ThinkBeforeYouDrive.org
With summer revving its engine, classes ending and prom and graduation season upon us, it’s a great time of year for teenagers.
For parents, though, this is a time of high anxiety.  The onset of summer is the deadliest time of the year for teen drivers. They’re taking road trips, attending parties and are just on the road a lot more.  Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that the 101 days from Memorial Day to Labor Day produce a spike in traffic accidents, injuries and deaths among young people.
To help keep your teens safe behind the wheel, here are a few quick tips for parents of teen drivers fromwww.thinkbeforeyoudrive.org:
Create a driving contract for your teen, and be prepared to stick to it. A driving contract is a great way to let teens know that driving is both a privilege and a serious responsibility. It also establishes clear expectations about driving for your teen: always wear a seat belt, never get into a vehicle with someone who’s been drinking, etc.  A customizable contract template is available at:www.thinkbeforeyoudrive.org
Set a clear expectation: no texting or tweeting behind the wheel. This is something you’ll want to include in your driving contract. Research increasingly shows in-car distractions are a leading cause of serious car crashes involving teens.  They live in a digital world and texting is a way of life. Your mandate needs to be clear: not while you’re driving! No exceptions. If they violate the policy you need to take the keys away for at least two weeks. They need to know you’re serious.
Set a good example. Practice what you preach. When parents run red and yellow lights, speed down the highway at 75 miles per hour, weave in and out of traffic, ride the bumper of the car in front of them and exhibit signs of road rage, they are telling teens that rules don’t count — and this can be fatal. Be a role model for your teen.
Pay attention to tone, time and place during practice. Be patient and positive as your teen becomes comfortable with driving. Don’t overwhelm your young driver with too much criticism or commentary in the heat of the moment – teens are very sensitive about this!  You can always go back and review your teen’s driving in greater detail once you’re off the road.
Check your tires! New drivers need to understand that it’s their responsibility to keep their car in good working order. Top off your fluids, check the oil and always keep your tires properly inflated (www.tiresafety.comis a good resource).  Tires need to be checked every month with a tire gauge. It’ll save you money at the pump and keep your teen safer out on the road.
Encourage your teen to speak out.Teens tend to bridle when messages from you only travel down one-way streets (we have all seen eye-rolls complete with “I know, I know!”), so encourage your teen to speak out and take ownership of being a safe driver. He or she can do this by creating a compelling safety related video for the Safety Scholars contest.  Top videos win a $5,000 college scholarship and become public service announcements. For more information and to see the past winners go towww.safetyscholars.org.
Put emergency supplies in the trunk of your teenager’s car. Explain the purpose of each tool and have your teen practice using them.  This will not just help them feel prepared in the event of an emergency, it could also help your teen out of a tight spot on the road.
Choose an ICE contact. All drivers should designate an emergency contact in the address book of their cell phones under the name “ICE” — In Case of Emergency. Emergency workers in many towns check for an ICE contact in cell phones.

Dan MacDonald, Executive Director of Communications for Bridgestone Americas, oversees corporate communications for Bridgestone Americas’ consumer road safety programs, including Think Before You Drive (www.thinkbeforeyoudrive.org) and Safety Scholars (www.safetyscholars.com).

Post from: Radical Parenting

Related posts:

  1. Motor skills [Guest Post]This artic
  2. Helpful Tips for Getting Kids to Help Out [Guest Post]Amy Kossof
  3. Bullying at Summer Camp, make it stop! [Guest Post]By Derek R
Post a comment
Write a comment:

Related Searches