It’s an important milestone when your teenager passes their driving test. They are one step further down the road to independence. The relief that you no longer have to shuttle them around is offset by the worry that grips you every time they head out of the driveway.
More teenagers are killed in motor vehicle crashes than for any other reason, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As your child gains more experience, they should become safer drivers. There are a few things you can do to help them stay safe for the first few months:
- Drive with them: Sitting in the passenger seat allows you to keep an eye on how your child progresses and offer advice. Like any exam, a driving test does not mean you know how to do something; it merely means you have reached the minimum competent standard. The experience you build up after a test is where you truly learn to drive.
- Avoid them driving at night: Once it gets dark, the roads become more dangerous. Your child should stick to daytime driving while they build up their skills.
- Limit passengers: The first thing any teenager wants to do when they pass their test is to fill the car with their friends. Yet friends will distract their attention from the road. The more people in the car, the more people at risk should there be a crash.
- Ban the phone: Make it a condition that they put away their phone if they are driving. It reduces the temptation to check it. Some reports found that distraction by a phone plays a role in more than half of all crashes.
When your child begins to drive, they will not have the experience reading dangerous situations that come with time. They need to be extra cautious to avoid being in a car wreck caused by a negligent driver in another vehicle.