Recently, the AAA released a list of what it considered the safest cars for teen drivers. Ford was the only manufacturer to make the list twice, with its Fusion and Focus models. So what was it about these cars that made them so safe, and are there any other tips to make your teen a safer driver?
Make the most of technology
The latest Ford Focus models have the MyKey feature, which allows parents to set radio volume limits and maximum speeds, and also stops teen drivers from turning off important safety systems. While not all cars will be as technologically advanced as this, you should find out what features your teen’s car does have and ensure they know how to use it to their advantage.
Always buckle up
Your teen should already know the importance of buckling up from years as a passenger, not to mention the fact that wearing a seatbelt is a legal requirement. Nevertheless, it never hurts to remind them that every year seatbelts save around 11,000 lives in America alone. Letting them also know that they could receive a fine for simply not having their seatbelt on is an equally effective way to make sure they don’t forget to buckle up.
Stick to speed limits
Speed can kill, there’s no denying it. Not only does going over the speed limit put your teen’s life at risk, but it also puts other drivers, passengers and pedestrians at risk. You really can’t emphasize to them the need to stick to the limit strong enough. Again, if you don’t think they’re taking the message seriously reiterate how speeding tickets (which you certainly won’t be paying for) can be very costly and this should hopefully provide them the extra motivation they need to keep it slow.
Never drink and drive
While your teens shouldn’t be drinking alcohol at their age anyway you still need to discuss how important it is that people never drink and drive. In 2010 drunk drivers caused 31% of traffic fatalities, but this figure increases to 50% for drivers who have just become legally old enough to drink (those aged 21-25). Start having frank conversations about the dangers of drink driving today and you can be more confident your teen drivers will become safe drivers.
If your teen has a drinking problem, then you need to seek help from places such as the Massachusetts alcohol withdrawal treatment centers, which has professionals to help your teen with their issues.
Give the road your full attention
While you’re having the drink-driving conversation you might as well talk about the general importance of driving in a good state of mind. That means being able to give your full attention to the road and not driving while feeling tired or sick, as this can cause devastating lapses in concentration.
Have a good idea of what’s under the hood
Your teen doesn’t need to be a fully qualified mechanic to be a safe driver, but they should at least know how to check their oil levels and fill up their windshield fluid. Not having the right amount of oil can cause all sorts of engine problems, while if you run out of windshield fluid their view could become obscured while driving.