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Helping teens to become better drivers

Knoxville parents who have teens who have or plan to get their driver’s licenses should take some time to help them to become better drivers. Each year, thousands of people are injured and killed on the roads from car accidents. The most common cause of death for teenagers is car accidents. According to the Wall Street Journal, 54 percent of teenage drivers who have driven under supervision still make serious driving errors that lead to crashes. Out of all the risk factors that teens face when they are behind the wheel, their inexperience is the biggest one increases their risk of accidents.

Lead by example

It is hard for parents to expect for their teens to drive responsibly if they do not do so themselves. Teens tend to follow the actions of their role models and people they look up to. It does not matter how much experience they have behind the wheel, parents should continue to act as good driving role models for their teens to emulate, states the American Academy of Pediatrics.

For example, parents should avoid using their cellphones and mobile devices anytime they are driving. They should always wear their seatbelts and obey all traffic rules. For driving situations that involve road rage, parents should remain calm, rational and behave appropriately to prevent the incidents from escalating further.

Talk to them

Parents should have regular discussions with their teens to ensure that they understand how their driving actions can affect others. They should discuss any current traffic safety trends and issues that are relevant to the situation. They should establish ground rules and implement penalties if they are broken that restrict teens from using their driving privileges.

Continue to offer guidance after licensing

Just because teens are licensed to drive does not mean they are prepared for the roads. They need much more driving time to improve their skills. Parents should offer continuing instruction and discussions so their teens become more responsible drivers who can think and react just as rationally as any other well-experienced motorists.

Driving is a privilege for teenagers. Parents can help them to respect this responsibility by guiding and instructing them before and after they receive their licenses.

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