As a parent, you know being a good driver means being a safe driver. But your teen driver doesn’t always see it the same way. Teens think good driving means being able to turn the wheel with one hand while talking to their friend in the passenger seat.
They may think multitasking while driving is the sign of a good driver. Where do you think they are learning this behavior? It could be from watching you. As a parent, your habits and the way you drive are being watched by your children without you even realizing it. Even preteens who still are several years away from driving are learning from you — watching how you handle yourself in a car.
That’s why it is important to teach your teen how to be a safe driver and show them, too. Buckle your seat belt every time you get in the car. Turn off your phone and put it in the glove compartment so you’re not distracted. Be considerate of other drivers on the road. Recognize and react to unsafe road conditions before they become a hazard. Use your mirrors and turn signals. Follow the rules of the road – they’re designed to keep us safe. In return, you’ll teach your teen what it means to be a safe driver.
I suggest talking to your teen about safe driving long before he or she starts driving. Teenagers are less likely to take risks if parents simply talk with them. As you use good habits, point them out. Sharing examples of safe driving will lay a foundation they can use when it’s time for them to take the wheel.
Get other family members involved. Ask grandma and grandpa —even older siblings— to help show what it means to be a safe driver. With everyone teaching the same good habits, you are sure to raise a teenager who will be safe, confident and focused behind the wheel.
To learn more, please visit www.KohlsBuildingHealthyHabits.com.
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