Pretty soon, I will be in the passenger’s seat as my oldest daughter is learning to drive. The thought of this is terrifying. Not only because that means she is growing up TOO fast, but it’s terrifying because of all the accidents you hear these days. Someone not paying attention. Someone texting while driving. Someone running a red light. Oh the list goes on and on. We do our best to shelter our kids from trouble, but when it comes to driving, you have to pray they stay safe and make the right choices regarding the situation.
How you can help with this is start at home! That’s right, start with you making the right decisions while driving. Remember…little eyes are watching you even now! Ok, keep reading. I have lots to share!
I had the opportunity to attend a Drive It Home Event put on by the Allstate Foundation and the National Safety Council. It was entertaining and VERY eye opening. I wanted to share a few things that I heard there that really opened my eyes. I’m hoping it does the same for you too!
Car crashes are the #1 killer of teens.
Most teen crashes are preventable.
That right there caught my attention, as it should.
They let us know that inexperience is the HIGHEST cause of accidents. However, they not only told us facts about this, but taught us what we can do to prevent and/or teach a little better. Here are three items that you should work on with your teen driver:
- Failure to scan the road. The teen drivers aren’t used to looking ahead, scanning the road for obstacles, oncoming traffic, traffic coming from side roads and driveways. You need to teach them this. Point it out when you are riding together. Ask questions! Ask what they see? Help them learn in their mind that scanning the road and looking ahead is a must!
- Speed. Get out and drive with your young driver in ALL weather conditions. By doing this, you can help them manage and decide what speed they should be driving for the conditions they are experiencing.
- Gap reception. You hear all the time about head on collisions. Or t-bones….again, so many. Help your young driver learn how to perceive the gap between them and the oncoming cars. Help the judge that speed to decide if what their objective is, can be completed safely. You can also help them practice this with left turns, pulling out of parking lots, etc. Practice makes perfect!!
I’m not going to go over the laws or anything like that. I am not that well versed as our family is not there yet. However, I do have a few bullet points I wanted to conclude this post with. Stuff that I really wasn’t aware of.
- Driving at night and driving with passengers is very dangerous, due to inexperience. Parents should spend at least 10 hours at night driving with your kids. Parents should do a minimum of 50 hours of practice driving and 10 at night.
- Once they get their license, don’t just let them go free. You will reduce the likelihood of them getting in a crash if you continue driving with them for 6 months.
- Safety belt. Wear yours and talk about it with your kids. Kids think belts aren’t cool. Strengthen them and their confidence in seat belt wearing.
- No passengers. For a good year. Make your own rules. Keep your kids safe!
- Drive at least 30 min each week with your newly licensed teen. Keep them fresh!
- Allstate foundation research found that parents and teens agree that more time should be spent driving together. They want your advice and want you to provide positive feedback.
- I’ll leave you with this, they are watching you. They have been watching you for 16 years! The risks you take are multiplied when your kids try to take the same risks. Texting…obviously. But EVEN talking on the phone.
“Because of a phone, I don’t have her. ” ~Bonnie
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This is funny, but also serious. You really should take a look. Might not be a bad idea at all if your children are driving age!
Drive it Home
National Safety Council
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.