Driving defensively can keep teens safer on the road

Motor vehicle accidents can cause painful, costly injuries that often require extensive recovery.

Teaching young drivers to drive defensively can reduce their risk of accident and injury on the road by being proactive about their safety.

Learn to take care of the car

Before letting your teen driver out onto the roads, make sure they know how to practice proper maintenance and what to do in case of emergency car trouble. Even knowing how to clean windows and pump gas is second nature to experienced drivers, but new drivers need to learn these necessary tasks.

Reduce distractions

Cell phones, friends and food can cause significant distractions while driving. Teen drivers should learn to turn their cell phones off or put them out of reach while driving. Newer phones come with a function that can disable all sound notifications while a car is in motion to help reduce the distractions they cause. Encourage teens to not eat in the car or only eat in the car while parked. If your teen has friends in the car, remind them that they are responsible for their friends’ safety while driving.

Allow distance between cars

In addition to following the speed limit, new drivers need to understand the importance of not following other vehicles too closely. Space between vehicles gives drivers more time to react when unexpected stops or swerves occur. Similarly, when drivers feel they are being followed too closely, they should change lanes and allow the pursuing vehicle to pass.

Every parent worries about their teen drivers when they are out on the road. Teaching them defensive driving techniques as they are learning to drive can help them take responsibility for their own safety when they are on the road.