10 Tips to Keep Your New Teen Driver Safe on Their First Trip Alone (Infographic)
Getting a license is like a rite of passage for a teen. Teenagers are eager to get on the road and finally be
able to go anywhere without relying on their parents. At the same time, this also gives parents time for
On the other hand, knowing your teen will be behind the wheel can be stressful, especially if it’s their
first time on their own. Everyone is aware of the dangers of teen drivers, and no parent wants their child
to be part of the statistic.
Preparing your teen for a safer, first alone time behind the wheel takes time, patience, and
communication. The following tips can go a long way toward preparing your teen on their first drive on
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1. Let Them Have Extra Practice Behind the Wheel
Before a new driver can get their license, they need to spend a minimum of 50 total hours of
supervised driving over at least six months. Drivers education programs typically only provide a
total of six of those hours.
Inexperience is one of the most significant causes of teen crashes. Teenagers’ lack of driving
experience, together with risk-taking behavior, puts them at heightened risk for accidents. This
is why teens must get as much supervised practice before they can drive on their own.
It is crucial that a teenager is able to experience driving in all sorts of conditions such as different
times of the day, weather, and traffic conditions during your supervision.
2. Keep their Ride Mid-Size
Parents have various choices when it comes to their teen’s first car, and many factors are
considered such as style, price, and reliability. Car crashes are a leading cause of death among
teenagers, therefore safety should be put above all the other qualities.
While new cars being produced are increasing their safety measures, size and weight are still
major factors in a crash. A midsize or full-size car is ideal for new drivers as they offer more
crash protection compared to smaller and lighter ones.
You should avoid sleek and high-performance vehicles for teens as it may tempt them to speed.
Sports utility vehicles are also generally frowned upon on this age group since they have a
higher center of gravity that makes them unstable and more likely to roll over.
3. Insist On Seat Belts
This advice should go without saying. Seat belts provide you with the best protection from being
ejected from the car during an accident. By wearing your seat belt you can cut your risk of being
injured in an accident in half.
However, too many teens are still driving without buckling up. Among other age groups, teens
have the lowest rates of seat belt use.
As a parent, you have to ensure your teen is always buckled up everytime they are in the car,
especially when they are driving. The best way to begin this is to set an example by always
wearing your seatbelt, and enforce them to always wear it when they are in a car before they
are even old enough to drive.
Remind your teen about the consequences of failing to buckle up, such as severe injuries and
4. Keep Other Teens Out of the Car
It may seem harmless to bring their friends along for the ride, but having another teen in the car
increases the risk of an accident. The fatality rate for car accident victims increased by 51
percent when a teen driver had only another teen as a passenger in the vehicle, according to a
AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study.
A teen driver with a teenage passenger is more likely to have a loss of focus on the road, which
can lead to an accident. While a new driver is gaining experience on the road it is suggested that
they not allow friends to ride with them.
Teen Passengers can contribute to other dangerous activities while driving due to peer pressure.
Due to encouragement from their peers, inexperienced drivers will be more likely to be involved
in racing, drinking, drug usage, and more while driving.
5. Forbid Alcohol or Drug Consumption
Even though teens aren’t allowed to legally drink until they turn 21, alcohol is involved in 15%
percent of fatal teen car accidents.
One in 10 high school students admits to drinking and driving. One in 5 teen drivers that were
involved in fatal accidents had alcohol in their systems. Of those teens, up to 81% had a Blood
Alcohol Concentration (BAC) higher than the adult legal limit of 0.08%.
Enforcing a no drinking and drug policy for your teen driver is recommended to keep them safe
on the road. It is also important to discuss the dangers of driving and being a passenger of a
drunk driver. Having a backup plan in case of a situation like this is important for their safety.
6. Turn Off All Mobile Devices
Using your phone for texting or calling while driving can cause the driver to take their eyes off
the road and become distracted.
A distracted driver is a dangerous driver. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration, distracted driving caused 3,166 deaths in 2017 alone.
Encourage your young driver to turn off their mobile devices or place them on silent mode. Any
calls or texts should be done prior to driving, or after they have arrived at the destination. You
should also remind them of the consequences of violating distracted-driving laws.
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7. Create A Car Safety Kit
No matter how responsible and skilled your teen is at driving, there is always a chance for an
unpredictable element to cause a problem while they’re driving.
While the likelihood of actually having a problem on their first time out is low, it’s still a good
idea to assemble a kit for an emergency. Having an emergency kit is important for all drivers of
8. Emergency Contacts
Talk to your teen about what to do in a driving emergency. Young drivers should know who to
call and what steps to take when something goes wrong whether it’s an empty gas tank, a flat
tire, or a car accident.
Make sure that your teen has all the emergency contact phone numbers they’ll need, including
the police, hospital, auto repair shop, fire department, auto insurance agent, and more.
While all these numbers can be kept on their phones, its best to keep an extra copy in their
glove box as a backup.
9. Inspect their Car Before They Go
It’s important to make sure that your child’s car meets all safety standards. Also be sure to
perform routine car maintenance such as checking the air pressure in the tire, the water level in
the battery, oil and transmission fluid, and the windshield-wiper fluid.
Eventually, you should teach your teen how to do all of these themselves or consider enrolling
them in a car care clinic. It is also important that their cars are regularly serviced and that young
drivers know what to check themselves.
10. Model The Right Behavior
Parents are a powerful role model. While teenagers may appear to not listen to you anymore,
they pay attention to your actions and will often reflect your driving habits.
Be a positive influence on your teen driver by always making sure that you’re following all the
rules you expect them to follow, such as always wearing your seat belt, observing speed limits,
and putting away your phone while driving.
The Car Accident Attorneys at The Brown Firm are able to assist you in any legal matters relating to any
Contact the Brown Firm today at (912) 200-9755 or visit our website at
www.harrybrownlaw.com to learn more about our services or receive a free legal consultation
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