Summer is one of the best times of the year for your teen. They’re done with school, and, if they’re lucky, they’ve just gotten their driver’s license. And while that might make you a proud parent, it’s normal to be freaking out a little bit, too. So if you’re worried about your teen’s first summer as a licensed driver, here are a few essential safety tips to impart before they hit the streets.
The Phone Can Wait
Roughly two-thirds of parents already worry that their children spend too much time with electronic devices. And with smartphone innovation moving faster and faster, it can seem like your teen is practically attached to their phone at the hand. But if you want to make sure your teen has a safe summer of driving, you need to impress upon them the importance of putting their phone away while they’re driving. Here are a few suggestions to offer your teen if they need options when it comes to staying focused on the road.
- Keep your phone in your bag or pocket.
- Turn your phone off before you start driving.
- If you use your phone to play music, create a playlist that doesn’t require you to skip songs.
- Leave your phone at home for short errands.
- Assign phone responsibilities to a passenger in your vehicle.
And of course, as a parent, it’s your job to set a good example for your teen. When you’re in the car with them or driving, keep your phone out of sight and out of mind. Making an effort to display safe driving habits can make all the difference in the world for your teen driver’s safety.
Keep a Clear Windshield
When it comes to safe driving habits, visibility is one thing your teen absolutely can’t go without. Keeping a clean windshield not only ensures their safety but the safety of others on the road, as well. And that means windshield wipers matter. A lot. Initially created in 1903 as small brushes simply moving up and down on a windshield, wipers have become incredibly important driving safety tools. That’s why it’s important to teach your teen to take care of them and to use them whenever there’s a visibility issue.
It’s common for drivers to leave their wipers off until a real deluge comes from the sky, but the truth is that’s just not safe driving. Even a light sprinkle of rain can impair visibility. And along those lines, it’s important to take care of your windshield wipers. Teach your teen how to tell when their wipers aren’t functioning properly and how to replace them without incident. Not only can this help keep your teen safe, but it can also help them learn how to take better care of their vehicle.
Check Tires Often
In many instances, car safety and car maintenance go hand in hand. When you have a car that’s well-maintained and functioning like new, you’re less likely to experience issues that could have a negative impact on your teen’s safety. And on that note, teaching your teen to check on their tires routinely is essential in cultivating safe driving habits. After all, 25% of highway miles in the U.S. are strained at more than 95% capacity. The roads get rougher with each passing year, and that can really put a strain on tires. Without checking them routinely, your teen runs the risk of blowing a tire or wasting gas while they’re driving. Teaching the proper way to check tire pressure and how often tires need to be rotated can save you and your teen a lot of car trouble.
When you’re trusting your teen on the road for the first time, it can feel like there’s never enough time to teach them everything. But with these simple safety tips, you and your teen will be sure to have a safe summer on the roads.