Help! My Child Has Just Passed Their Driving Test!
It’s a proud moment in any parent’s life, but it should also be greeted with some trepidation. For a teenager, passing a driving test usually means their first taste of independence. The freedom of the open road and maybe their very own car means extreme excitement for them, and alarm and worry for Mum and Dad.
The majority of accidents involve young people aged 17-24, and for a young person, having a passenger on board increases the chance of an accident by 45%. There are plenty of other scary statistics, but disasters can be avoided if the parents’ play a role of responsibility and keep track of their child’s driving.
Set An Example
Believe it or not, your teen still looks up to you and listens to you! Take advantage of this influence and set a good example with your driving. When you’re providing a taxi service (it doesn’t end when they get a car), make sure you follow the Highway Code impeccably and never go over the speed limit, even when it’s tempting.
Set Some Rules
If you bought your teen their first car, you have the power to take it away. Use this leverage to set some basic safety rules, the number one being NO driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Other rules could include turning your phone off when driving, no loud music, only one passenger at a time… whatever worries you the most or what your child is most likely to do. You might get faced with an onslaught of abuse, but it will guilt your child into following the rules and driving safely.
Watch Their Friends
Does your child give into peer pressure? What are their friends like? The behaviour of passengers can be just as dangerous as the drivers, and distractions or pressure from passengers is a huge factor towards bad or unsafe driving. Keep an eye on your child’s friends and talk to your teen about what they’re like as passengers.
Train Them Further
It will cost a little extra, but an advanced driving training course, such as PassPlus, is a great way to make sure your teen is the best they can be on the road. PassPlus covers road safety and parts of driving that may make people more nervous, such as motorways and driving in bad weather conditions.
Nag, Nag, Nag
As your child gains more confidence on the road, their driving should improve, but don’t be afraid to give them a few gentle reminders! From seatbelts to speed limits, there’s so much to remember about road safety, and it’s particularly important at this early stage to really get the rules into their head. Don’t scare them with horror stories of accidents, just remind them to stay safe, alert and to *really* concentrate!