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How Parents Can Support New Teenage Drivers

If you thought potty training your toddlers was stressful, wait until your kids reach driving age.

Your teenagers are thinking only of the freedom that driver’s license will provide, while parents worry about accidents, tickets, increased insurance costs and more. Fortunately, residents of metropolitan St. Louis can turn to the instructors at Missouri Driving School to provide expert driving education to the next generation of drivers.

St. Louis parents can help their teenage driversSo what can parents do to show support for their burgeoning road warriors and keep them calm and focused? According to the National Highway Safety Administration (NHSA), here are ten things parents and guardians can do to help ensure accident-free and confident teenage drivers.

  1. Be a good example. Your children mimic your behavior from an early age. Don’t use your cell phone when driving. Buckle your seat belt. Be a courteous driver and respect the rule of the road. Your teenager will follow your example.
  2. Choose an appropriate vehicle. Even though you are proud of your student’s 4.0 GPA, rewarding your teenager with the latest and fastest sports car is not the best idea. Choose a car with excellent safety features such as air bags and anti-lock brakes, and remember that larger cars usually offer more protection in the event of a crash.
  3. Limit driving at night. Reduced visibility makes night time driving more challenging for inexperienced driving. Teenagers are also more likely to have friends in the car during night time hours, so be prepared to play taxi driver for a little while longer.
  4. Have the drunk driving talk, even if the school has already done so. If your teenager drinks alcohol or takes drugs before getting behind the wheel, they are an impaired driver. Make sure your teen knows the very real legal, economic, and life taking consequences of driving impaired.
  5. Reinforce the no texting while driving rule. Kids text. They are experts at it. Just watch their fingers fly over a virtual keyboard filled with emojis. Hundreds of people die every month because they are texting while driving. It only takes on “LOL” to veer the car off the road and into a tree. The eyes belong on the road, not the phone screen.
  6. Prepare teenagers for driving in all weather conditions. Snow, ice and heavy rain each require different techniques to maneuver cars out of harm’s way. Teach your new driver how to handle these situations depending on your climate and road conditions.
  7. Don’t drive tired. Being a teen in the 21st century is time consuming. School, extracurricular activities, part-time jobs and social commitments might mean your teen is plain old worn out. Fatigued drivers are dangerous drivers, so make sure your teen can balance activities so driving sleepy is not an option.
  8. Yes, wearing their seat belt is still the first defense against injury in an accident. Explain to your new driver that a seat belt saves lives. It is nonnegotiable. Wearing a seat belt the correct way each and every time they are in the vehicle is absolutely required.
  9. Keep up with car maintenance. Teach your teenager how to test the tire pressure, check essential fluid levels and even change a flat tire. They will be safer on the roadway.
  10. Practice makes perfect. At a minimum, your teenager should practice driving at least two hours weekly for six months to reach proficiency.

Of course, the best way to support your teenager when it comes to driving is to give them lessons from Missouri Driving School. Lessons are performed in our vehicles. We use newer mid-size cars equipped with dual brake controls to ensure safety. Scheduling time is flexible between 8am and 8pm Monday through Saturday Our instructors are professional, courteous, patient and experts in what they do. At Missouri Driving School, driver’s education is our top priority, and you can enjoy a little less stress.

Missouri driving lessons are in session. Call to schedule!(314) 849-4590