Be a Good Parent
As parents, you are one of the most influential driving instructors for your teen drivers, and based on years of experience, you know pretty much everything you need to about safe driving.
Here are some important reminders for when you’re talking to your teens about driver safety:
Be a safe driver - your teen will notice
- Obey the speed limit.
- Wear a seat belt.
- Don’t talk or text on your phone while driving.
- Don’t drive drunk.
- Don’t drive when you’re too tired.
Know the law and share driving laws with your teen
- Make sure your teenager knows the laws and consequences for bad driving behavior.
Sign a contract with your teen driver.
- Choose which car(s) your teen can drive.
- Create rules for your teen driver, curfews, number of passengers allowed in the car, check-in times, etc.
- Be clear about consequences for unsafe or distracted driving.
- Be clear about consequences for underage drinking as well as drinking and driving.
- Make it clear that you will not tolerate underage drinking and driving.
Ride along with your teen – even though they passed a driving test – to make sure they follow the rules of the road and drive safely.
- Observe your teen’s driving behavior and offer suggestions for being a safer driver.
- Review rules of the road with your teen.
- Make your safe driving expectations clear.
Know your teenager’s plans and who they will be riding or driving with.
- Know who will be in the car and where the driver plans to go.
- Make sure your teen knows when he or she is supposed to check-in.
Make sure your teenager knows what to do in the event of a risky driving situation, such as a crash or bad weather.
- Review safe driving tips for rain, snow, fog and other weather events on the days your teen may be facing such conditions.
- Make sure the car your teen is driving has a first aid kit and flashlight.
- Provide your teen with the contact information for AAA or a local tow truck.
- Program an In Case of Emergency (ICE) number into your teen’s phone so others can reach you in the event that your teen is injured.
Most Important Messages About Driver Safety
Based on 2010 survey of perceptions by VA parents about driver safety:
“Driver Safety Study”, APCO Insight June 2010. 750 paired interviews with teen drivers aged 15-18 and one parent. Survey completed between
May 18 - May 26, 2010.