One of the most exciting time in a teenager’s life is getting their license. It is their clear sign that they are moving toward the independence they have longed for, almost like a rite of passage. As a parent of this teenager, it can be quite hard to understand how you should handle this chapter in your child’s life.

Now for most parents, it might feel a little nerve-wracking teaching your child how to operate a vehicle and luckily you don’t have to. It is said to be safer and a how lot easier letting a professional teach your teenager how to drive. It’s highly recommended because the slightest criticism from you might make your teenage driver feel inadequate since they associate driving with maturity. Understandably so parents like yourself associate driving with having to let your child go out into in an unsafe world where they can get into accidents and possibly seriously injured. So for that reason, parents tend to overreact at the slightest mistake from their teenage driver. So for that reason, we recommend that you enter them in the school program or look up a driver’s training school.

Let’s get serious for a minute because it’s important for you to know that in the United States automobile accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers. It is very important for you to discuss safe driving with your teenager. Unfortunately, as soon as the teenager gets his driver license most parents think their role ends. Not true! In fact, this is the most crucial time for your supervision to be more present. You might even think that the reason teenagers crash more is due to drugs or alcohol, but that isn’t the case. Instead, it’s due to things that even we as adults do while driving: speeding, driving recklessly, and lack of attention and focus on driving. So even if you heavily discuss the dangers of driving under the influence chances are this other thing wasn’t talked about enough. Here are some topics you should discuss with your child before you hand them the keys to your vehicle.

  • The first thing that is recommended is that you don’t allow your teenager to drive with other teen passengers in the vehicle until they are more of an experienced driver. Most states even have a restriction or laws that are against teenagers driving with teenage passengers. Having teenage passengers in the car with your driver will greatly increase the possibility of accidents and with each additional passenger, the number of risk increases even more. You can find new driving laws for Durango, Colorado here
  • Second, it is good to phase in your driver gradually, allow them to drive whenever the conditions are safer. For example, for trips to the grocery store or to practices, short drives that they are familiar with. Remember just because there are no law or restriction against it doesn’t mean you can’t enforce your own rules. In the first few months of your new driver limit the amount of driving in bad weather, slowly introduce them to Colorado winter weather elements.
  • The third is a huge growing problem amongst all drivers, but especially with teens. So much so that there are multiple groups that coming together to stop it! You probably already guessed it, don’t let your teenagers text while driving. I know you’re probably thinking how can I stop them from doing that, well thankfully there are apps that you can install on your teen’s phone such as Safely Go, It Can Wait and much more. They can even take a pledge and watch informational videos at Anything that distracts the driver shouldn’t be done behind the wheel and it is parent’s responsibility to be an example of what to do and what not do while driving.
  • Lastly, it is important to discuss who will be paying for car expenses that arise: gas, insurance, parking tickets, repairs, etc. Now depending on what you decide the teenager should understand that insurance premiums do increase when you add them to your policy. Let them know that any violation they commit while driving the car will make your insurance premium increase. This is a good chance for you to explain another good reason they should drive safely because if they get a speeding ticket or involved in a minor accident you might not be able to insure them anymore. Some parents even tell their new driver that if they do get a ticket they will be responsible for the cost.

One of the most exciting time in a teenager’s life is the time when they can drive themselves around in a car. Unfortunately, those dreams never include the reality of the cost of insurance, repairs, and maintenance it is important to explain this part to them. Give them detailed information of what the average car costs to actually own and drive and they will really understand how much responsibility it takes to be a driver.