Being able to drive a vehicle on the road is a lot of responsibility. Teens do not always comprehend how important these responsibilities are to them and the other drivers around them. Parents need to not only talk to their teen about these responsibilities but show their teen what each responsibility means while they are teaching them to drive. Here are some tips:
Encourage your teen To be involved with the maintenance of the vehicle they drive. They should know when the car does not sound like it normally sounds to pull into the garage and seek some help. Or if they feel it is a minor problem, to tell you as soon as possible. Another way to keep your teen involved in the maintenance of the vehicle is to have them read the car manual. Also, have your teen keep the car clean and gassed up.
Require your teen follow the laws of your state for permit, graduated driving and licensing requirements. Your teen should follow all of these without fail including all logged in practice hours that they must finish before taking their driver's road test. If you allow your teen to slide in any of these areas you are modeling to them that the rules of the road do not matter.
Show your teen the responsibility of taking care of their vehicle. If your teen has a job, considering allowing them to pay for their own car insurance. Generally, when teenagers have to put out their own money they take responsibility. Also, new drivers should know how to put air in the tires, gas in the tank and check the oil. Learn more about what new drivers should know in this article: Tips for New Teen Drivers.
Explain to your teen the responsibility they have for the passengers in their car. While accidents happen, many are preventable by following traffic laws. The guilt of having an accident when you're fooling around behind the wheel is not something anyone wants to live with - your teen will understand that. But, they will think you are making too much out of it. This is normal immaturity and why many graduated licensing programs include no friends in the car for the first couple of months.
Explain to your teen the responsibility they have to other drivers on the road. When you are weaving in and out of the traffic, talking on your cell phone or texting while driving, not paying attention street signs or speeding you are not being considerate of other drivers. Teens need to know that the road is a shared place. Remind your teen of this fact often.
Driving is one of the biggest steps toward maturity and independence for teens. Continue to talk to them about safe driving even as they get older, more experienced seventeen- and eighteen-year-old teens need reminders too. This way you will be doing your best to keep your teenager safe on the road.