EFFECTIVE WAYS TO MONITOR YOUR TEEN DRIVERS ON THE ROAD
As a parent of a new teen driver, you’re likely feeling a range of emotions: anxious, excited, nervous, and maybe even a little scared. You want to protect your child and keep them safe on the road, but you also don’t want to be a hovering parent.
So what’s the best way to monitor your teen driver? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, but here are four tips that will help you strike the right balance.
Why Monitor Your Teen Driver?
You may be wondering why it’s so important to monitor your new teen driver. After all, they’ve been driving for years and you’re probably confident in their abilities. But the fact is, teen drivers are involved in more accidents than any other age group. In fact, they are three times more likely to be in a car accident than drivers over the age of 20.
So why is this? There are a number of factors at play, including inexperience and lack of judgment. That’s why it’s so important to monitor your teen driver and make sure they’re following the rules of the road. By setting boundaries and restricting their driving privileges, you can help keep them safe on the road.
Establish Age-Appropriate Driving Rules
Before your teen even sets foot in the driver’s seat, establish some ground rules. Make sure these rules are age-appropriate and be prepared to enforce them. For example:
- No driving after dark.
- No driving with other young people in the car.
- No speeding.
These are just a few basic examples. You’ll want to tailor your rules to your specific family situation and geographic area.
Utilise Communication Apps
One of the best ways to monitor your teen drivers is to utilize communication apps. These apps will allow you to see their location, as well as how fast they are driving and what direction they are heading in. This can help you to be assured that they are driving safely and within the law.
Leverage Driver Monitoring Technologies
It is normal to worry about your teen driver when they are on the road, but the good news is that there are now various driver monitoring technologies that can help you stay informed and provide peace of mind.
For instance, many major automakers provide vehicle tracking and driver behavior technologies, such as trip logging, geofencing, speed alerts, and more. You might also consider investing in an aftermarket such as an E-ZPass or LoJack to monitor your teen’s activities behind the wheel.
These devices can give you real-time updates about your teen’s driving and can be programmed with customizable notifications or settings for safety alerts. What’s more, some of these systems also offer mobile apps that allow you to track their location from anywhere.
Monitor Safety Through Vehicle Maintenance
One important way to monitor your teen drivers’ safety is by making sure their vehicle is in top shape. Make sure your teenager knows to check the windshield wipers, oil levels, brakes, tires, and lights at least once a month. Encourage them to take their car in for routine maintenance as needed and keep tabs on their vehicle maintenance records.
Also, ensure they know the signs of mechanical trouble such as the smell of burning oil or the presence of smoke under the hood. Teach them how to take preventive steps like changing air filters regularly or topping off coolant levels when needed. This will help minimise potential risks due to poorly maintained vehicles.
Finally, if your teen is driving an older car, make sure that all recalls on their vehicle have been addressed, and remind them not to ignore any dashboard warnings lights that might appear. Taking care of these maintenance issues can help keep your teen safe when they hit the road.
Setting Up Punishments for Violations
One of the most effective ways to monitor your teen driver is to set up an agreement with them about driving rules, consequences, and punishments for any violations. Talk to your teen about how driving is a privilege and outline the expectations for their behavior behind the wheel.
Discuss what type of punishment or consequence will be enforced for breaking the rules. For example, if your teen is caught drinking and driving or texting while driving, then you can say that their access to the car will be taken away temporarily. It is important that you discuss this with your teen in advance so there are no surprises when they violate the rules.
You should also have an open dialogue with your teen so they know they can come to you whenever they feel uncomfortable on the road or make a mistake. This will help foster trust between you and your teen and ensure that they feel comfortable relying on you while they’re learning to drive.
Ultimately, if you’re the parent of a teen driver, it’s important to be proactive in monitoring their driving. There are a variety of ways to do this, and the best approach will vary depending on your teen’s individual personality and driving habits. By being involved and staying informed, you can help keep your teen safe on the road.