When teens in Massachusetts pass their road tests, they are very excited about the independence a driver’s license imparts to them. However, with that privilege also comes an enormous amount of responsibility. It is important that parents or guardians of young drivers have frequent and serious discussions with them about the best way to prevent motor vehicle accidents.
The New York Times notes that parents should model good driving behavior for their teens years before they start learning to drive. When adults consistently follow the rules of the road, including driving within the speed limit, children are able to observe the best practices for operating an automobile. Also, these behaviors need to include refraining from using a mobile device, wearing a seatbelt at all times, and never using substances such as drugs or alcohol before driving.
Distracted driving presents an enormous problem for teen drivers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration advises that this takes on many forms, such as eating, personal grooming, and cellphone use. Teens should be taught to program their destination into a navigation device before they start driving. They must also know that it is never acceptable to look at or send text messages while operating their vehicle.
The best way to prevent motor vehicle accidents is through maintaining focus on the road and minimizing distractions inside the car. Multiple passengers traveling with teen drivers increases the likelihood of distracted driving and should be deliberated. By keeping lines of communication open and having frequent discussions about the responsibility that driving entails, parents can help keep their teenager safe on the road.