Teenage drivers are statistically one of the most at risk demographics to become involved in an automobile accident. New car technology is helping anxious parents limit this risk, with some new vehicles equipped with the ability to limit the maximum speed and radio volume for teen drivers by identifying which ignition key is being used.
Other gadgets and apps can notify a parent (usually by text message) if the driver has exceeded the speed limit or has executed turns or lane changes unsafely. Despite these novel measures, nothing can replace ensuring that your teen understands the importance of reducing their risk of involvement in a motor vehicle collision.
1) Minimize Distractions
Technology is unfortunately too often the cause of distracted driving auto collisions. Distractions while driving include too many passengers, fiddling with the radio/GPS, eating/drinking, and texting. While there are laws in place for some of those distractions (MD no texting and hands free headset law), parents should teach their teens about other distractions and how to minimize them.
2) Follow the Speed Limit
...and all other driving rules. Driver's education classes and studying for permit tests teach the rules of the road like following speed limit, proper hand placement, proper mirror placement, monitoring your tire tread depth, and more. Learning these rules and following them is an important part of safe driving.
3) Practice "Defensive Driving"
Defensive Driving is making sure you are paying attention to the road and cars around you. While you can control only your vehicle, there is no guarantee that the other drivers are practicing safe driving. Some tips for driving defensively are to maintain an adequate distance between you and the car in front of you; increasing the distance as you drive faster; and to avoid altogether other vehicles, trucks and motorcycles that are driving erratically.
4.) Phone Policy
Have an agreement with your teen driver that their phone will be placed in the glove compartment while driving.