Talking to your teen about driving safety is very important. According to the CDC, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States. Most crashes are preventable, so talking to your teen and establishing safe driving habits as a family can make a big difference
Here are a few tips from our team at Life360 for how to tackle a discussion about safe driving with your teen, and how to keep the conversation going to ensure good driving becomes a habit.
- Discuss the importance of safe driving. Although your teen may feel invincible, ensure they understand the laws in your state and that car crashes can change people’s lives in a matter of seconds. Review research and distracted driving statistics with your teen. For example, let them know that responding to a text while driving takes your eyes off the road for approximately five seconds, which is enough time to drive the length of a football field.
- Make a safe driving promise. Establish rules of the road for everyone in your family in a written contract. Make a promise that you will always wear seatbelts, follow the speed limit, focus on the road at all times, pull over if you are too tired to drive, and never drive under the influence or while using a cell phone. The CDC offers a parent-teen driving agreement you can print, or you can create your own.
- Monitor your family’s driving behavior, and review it together weekly. The Life360 Driver Protect service covers everyone in the family and shows instances of cell phone use, rapid acceleration, hard braking and top speed reached after every completed drive. A weekly driving summary for each family member provides an easy way to sit down together and review that everyone is sticking to your family’s safe driving promise.
- Timing is everything when talking to a teen. You know your family members better than anyone and choosing the right time to talk about safe driving is key. If your teen is not a morning person, don’t discuss driving tips over breakfast. If they have a lot of homework, don’t overwhelm them with a family meeting after dinner. Pick a time that works for your family and make safe driving check-ins a regular conversation.
- Set a good example. Parents are the earliest and most influential role models kids have. Follow the rules of the road and you’ll help raise a teen who is more likely to do so, too.
The Life360 Driver Protect service is available within the Life360 app, for iPhone and Android. A single subscription covers everyone in the family Circle and travels with you on your smartphone, in any vehicle. In addition to Safe Drive Insights, the service includes Automatic Crash Detection and Emergency Response and 24/7 Extended Roadside Assistance, providing help when your family needs it most.