Preparing your child to pass their driving test is one thing, but knowing how to handle things when they actually pass is another entirely. Nobody really focuses on how you’re going to feel as a parent and what you should do – which is why we’ve created this guide.
Although you’re proud of your newly qualified teen, it can also be a scary time. Knowing how to calm your thoughts, as well as setting a few ground rules will help you to feel better about the whole situation.
Read on to learn more!
Set An Example
First things first: set an example to your newly qualified driver. Ideally you will have been doing this all along. However, it’s never too late to start. You can’t nag them about wearing seat belts and sticking to the speed limit if you don’t do it yourself. You may think that they don’t pay any attention to you anymore, but they do, whether this is consciously or unconsciously.
Talk To Your Teenager Openly
Make sure you talk to your teenager as openly as possible. Now, you don’t want this to come across as you nagging them or it won’t be as effective. Just make sure they know the facts.
Showing off to their friends can cause accidents, and is one of the main reasons why accidents occur with new drivers. Studies show that teens want to seek friend’s approval, so this could mean showing off as a new driver. Reiterate the importance of safe driving, and how one silly mistake can change everything. You don’t necessarily need to make them watch horror stories, but they definitely need to know the facts. A second with their eyes off the road, drinking under the influence, and doing other silly things could leave them in trouble and needing to call Robert F. Rider to help them get out of it. That’s if the accident isn’t fatal. Even going over the speed limit slightly can have a fatal ending for them, their passengers, and others on the road. They need to be respectful of other road users, so make sure you demonstrate that in your driving too.
They will likely get tired of talking about this, so you may want to ask somebody they trust to mention it too. You could also show them TV shows that revolve around new drivers on the road, so they can see common mistakes.
Make sure you ask if they have any questions or concerns themselves about driving. They may need to come in the car with you a few times before they feel confident driving alone, or have a question that they’d be too afraid to ask.
Let Your Child Drive You
Supervised driving has been proven to create better drivers. Studies show that 100-120 hours of supervised driving over around 12 months creates a good driver. If you let your child drive you, you can then see for yourself any areas of improvement and where they are doing well.
Just ensure you don’t become that authoritative figure that belittles them or makes them feel they aren’t doing things right. They will stop listening to you eventually. Know what to say and how to say it for the best results. Tell them what they are doing great as well as what they may need a little work on. Bear in mind that there are also extra courses for drivers who have passed that they can take.
Getting A Black Box
A black box can monitor and show improvements. It’s also an incentive to drive safely, as well as give a renewal insurance price based on your child’s driving style. These boxes can keep your child safe, and help improve skills at the same time. They are a worthwhile installment if you’re a worrisome parent.
Boxes record a driver’s speed, distance, type of road, day/night driving, acceleration and braking, which can all give a clear picture of how they are driving. In some cases, the company can even be alerted if there’s a serious accident, and they can call the emergency services and pinpoint the precise location.
Creating A Safe Driving Agreement
You may want to create a safe driving agreement with your teen. As driving at night can be dangerous, you may want to limit it except in certain circumstances. You may also want to discuss rural roads, driving with passengers, and set out a driving under the influence section that makes it clear on the punishment they will receive.
You might consider setting a limit on how many people allowed in the car at once, and whether they can drive at night or not. An in car CCTV camera allows you to monitor them, as well as have evidence if an accident that isn’t their fault occurs at the same time. You will need to come up with incentives and compromises for both parties so you don’t suck all of the fun out of it.
You may reward with financial support or access to the family car if they agree to your terms.
It may be ok to add them to your insurance as long as they are not the primary user of the car, however, this is not necessarily the best course to take. If an accident occurs, insurance premiums go up for you, and you lose any no claims bonus you may have. They are not building up their own no claims bonus either, so looking at things long term the best option. Get them their own insurance policy.
The Right Gadgets
As well as black boxes, there are other gadgets out there. There are gadgets that can help you to control the maximum speed of the car, volume of the radio, and give alerts when fuel is low. They can also prevent the driver from disabling certain safety measures, such as the blind spot warning. This should give you peace of mind when your child is out driving.
Hopefully, these tips help you to relax and set up a fair agreement with your newly qualified driver teen!