Tips for Parents to Promote Safe Driving in Teens

Parent and Teen Driving imageAs a parent, it is your responsibility to ensure your teenager understands the importance of driving safely. It is a matter of life or death.

At the same time, it’s important to be a good role model and practice safe driving techniques. That’s why we’re encouraging parents and teens to sign the Just Drive! contract together.

Below are a few tips to help you talk to your teen about safe driving.

  • Admit to multi-tasking in the car. Start the discussion by talking openly about ways in which you and your teen multi-task while driving.
    • “I’ve been known to talk on the phone and change the CD player all while driving the car. What about you?”
  • Introduce the dangers of distracted driving. Tell your teen there can be serious consequences for this behavior and use statistics to back it up.
    • “The reality is we’re being reckless drivers when we multi-task behind the wheel. Did you know that one teen driver is injured or killed in a car crash every 64.2 minutes in Wisconsin?”
  • Suggest rewards or trade offs that might generate interest from your teen about adjusting their driving behavior. Potential examples might be dinner, movies, shopping, etc.
    • “How about if you make a commitment to safer driving behavior by signing the Just Drive! contract, we celebrate by going to dinner and a movie, my treat.”
  • Commit to changing your behavior. This is your chance to change — before it’s too late.
    • “I think we both need to do a better job of paying attention to the road while driving. I’m willing to put down the cell phone and stop multi-tasking in the car and would like you to join me. To make our commitment to each other more official, let’s sign the Just Drive! contract.”
  • Tell your teen how proud you are of him or her for committing to driving responsibly. Your son or daughter will appreciate this positive recognition and also feel more compelled to stick to the promise you made to one another.
    • “You mean the world to me and I would never want to see you or anyone else harmed because of reckless driving. I appreciate your taking this seriously and making a commitment to drive responsibly.”