Top 10 Tips for Parents
1. Be a role model
Lead by example: Drive safely and stay calm. Don’t text or use the phone. Wear your seatbelt.
Be courteous to others.
2. Go above and beyond your “50”
Adhere to (and exceed) the 50 hours supervised driving requirement.
Plan and log your sessions. Spend the time to do this right.
3. Understand and enforce Graduated Driver Licensing
GDL works. It’s not there to penalize young drivers - it aims to support and protect them. Be sure to adhere to its provisions and discuss the parameters with your teen. Ensure compliance with passenger and nighttime restrictions.
4. Choose a driving school that’s right for you
Move away from the “get your license in 5 minutes” philosophy. Education only works if there is time for practice and reflection. Don't just do driver's ed to get an insurance discount. But do it because you want your teen to be the safest driver possible.
5. Do a “Head Check”
Before you get in your vehicle, take a minute to talk to each other about how you are feeling. Help your teen think about potential risks before they drive (nighttime, social context, being in a hurry, passengers and distractions, emotional situations). If there is anything that could affect their concentration when driving, do they really need to drive?
6. Discuss route plan in advance
Discuss time allotment, traffic and road issues – keeping focused on safest road decisions at all times. Walk your teen through the decisions you make not only in the vehicle but before getting on the road.
7. Teach your teen how to maintain his or her vehicle
Make a checklist of what to look for before you get in the car. Tire pressure, amount of gas, and brake maintenance are a few items your teen should be familiar and comfortable with. Help them to understand the dashboard as well.
8. Your teen should know it’s okay to say “no”
Encourage your teens to speak out if they feel unsafe as a passenger.
Have a plan in place for when your teen needs alternate transportation.
9. Distractions don’t belong in the car
It’s important to show your teen that most things can wait until you have arrived at your destination. Model for them safe driving. The phone and other distractions can be fatal!
10. Create and sign a Parent-Teen Contract
Set terms between you and your teen that you agree to as he or she becomes a driver. Remember, driving is a privilege, not a right.