Teen driving tips for parents

FONDA — The Montgomery County Public Health wants to provide parents of teenage drivers with some helpful tips to keep their child safe on the road, according to a news release.

Parents want to teach their teens to become safe drivers, and to drive responsibly.

Here are some safe driving tips to help keep teenagers safe on the road.

∫ Parents should know their teen — not all teens are ready to drive at the same age.

∫ Be a responsible role model – parents’ driving behavior directly influences the driving actions of their teens. Insist on seatbelts all the time.

∫ Driver education is a great starting point — learning the rules of the road with a professional, establishes a strong base of knowledge that a teen can build on from there.

∫ Practice makes better teen drivers — supervised driving sessions with parents provide teens with opportunities to enhance learning, reinforce proper driving techniques and skills, and receive constructive feedback from the people who care most about their safety and success.

∫ Restrict passengers – teen passengers can distract a beginning driver and/or lead to greater risk-taking. Teen drivers’ chances of crashing increase with each additional teen passenger.

∫ Teens need sleep — teens need about nine hours of sleep every night. Lack of sleep affects vision, hand-eye coordination, reaction time and judgment.

∫ Eliminate distractions — cell phones and text messaging are hazardous distractions for teen drivers.

∫ Create a contract — a parent-teen driving agreement with rules, conditions, restrictions and consequences of teens’ driving written down in advance establishes driving as a privilege, and not something to be taken lightly. Proper driving behavior should be encouraged and rewarded with additional liberties.

∫ Discuss and review — parental involvement and communication is critical in the prevention of teen-related crashes. Designate a time each week to address concerns (both parent and teen) and review the teen’s driving performance.

∫ Prohibit drinking — make it clear that it’s illegal and highly dangerous for a teenager to drink alcohol.

∫ Choose vehicles for safety, not looks — teenagers should drive vehicles that reduce their chances of a crash and offer protection in case they do crash.

According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2016, there were 1,908 young driver in the United States killed in motor vehicles crashes. That means that six teens ages 15 to 20 died every day from motor vehicle injuries. Don’t let one’s child be another statistic.

For more information of Teen Driving Safety, contact Montgomery County Public Health at (518) 853-3531 or visit The NHTSA website @ https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/teen-driving.