As a parent in New Jersey, one of the most significant milestones in your teenager’s life that you will face is teaching them to drive.
Ensuring they are safe drivers involves more than just teaching them the mechanics of operating a vehicle. It also includes instilling in them an understanding of the rules of the road and cultivating a sense of responsibility and respect for the safety of others.
Help them get a learners permit
In New Jersey, teenagers can apply for a learner’s permit at the age of 16. The permit allows them to practice driving under the supervision of an adult. Encourage your teenager to drive in different conditions – during the day, at night, in the rain, on highways and on city streets. Varied experience will make them more confident and capable drivers.
Explain the importance of safety measures
In 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported more than 5000 deaths as a result of car accidents in New Jersey. Stress the importance of wearing seat belts, not only for themselves but for all passengers. Discuss the dangers of distracted driving, like using a cell phone, eating or even chatting with friends in the back seat.
Teach the principles of defensive driving
Defensive driving involves being aware of the conditions around you, anticipating potential hazards and responding to them in a timely and controlled manner. Teach your teenagers to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front, to watch their blind spots and to always use signals when turning or changing lanes.
Outline what to do after an accident
Arm your teen with the knowledge of how to handle an accident, by outlining the steps they will need to take. With medical attention being their first concern, they also need to understand what insurance and personal information to provide, how to document the accident, how to make a report and why it is important not to admit guilt.
By taking the time to properly teach your teenagers about driving, you are providing them with the skills they need to be safe and responsible drivers.