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For many teens, learning to drive is all about reaching the end goal of passing their test and getting a license. Parents, however, must have a different view.
Beyond just getting a license, teaching your teen to drive should be about helping them become a safe, responsible road user. This is what National Teen Driver Safety Week is all about, but as we near the end of this occasion, remember that your teen still needs your help to stay safe behind the wheel.
There are endless amounts of dangerous, confusing road situations that can come up at any time, and even licensed teen drivers need help navigating them. A license to drive isn’t a magical object that grants safe driving abilities and parents can’t treat their teen’s license as if it is.
This is why it’s important for parents to stay involved. The more your teen practices with you in the car, the better they’ll be able to handle risky situations when they inevitably come up when they are on their own. This is especially true after your teen gets a license, when they may feel more confident and thus let their safe driving habits ‘slip’.
So practice with your teen. Even after they’ve gotten a license, keep driving and practicing with your teen. Just 30 minutes a week can make a difference and help keep your teen on track. If you’re out of ideas, check out our updated Pointers for Parents; you can browse through a year’s worth of free lessons or sign up to get one via email each week.
Don’t accept excuses from yourself or your teen. Even a year after your teen gets a license, there are still things they can learn and you are the best person to teach them. You’ve made safety a priority during National Teen Driver Safety Week, what’s keeping you from doing the same all year?
DriveitHOME™ is an initiative of the National Safety Council, designed by and for parents of newly licensed teen drivers. DriveitHOME™ offers free resources parents can use to help their teen build experience to become safer drivers.
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