- Be a Role Model: Parents have more influence on their teens than they think, so remember to set a good example and drive safely in front of your teens to model good driving habits.
- Have the Important Conversations:Sit your teen down and have the necessary conversations about being smart and safe on the road. Addressing these issues early can give parents and teens time to create a plan of action for the future and ease the family’s mind. Also remember when you were a teenager learning to drive and share some of the mistakes you made for a better connection and discussion.
- Draft a Family Contract: Set rules and guidelines with your teen driver so that they know what is expected of them. Your teen can be held accountable for their actions and the contract can be referenced when questions and issues arise.
- Utilize Safety Technology: Parents can have a better peace of mind when using in-car safety technology such as Chevrolet’s available Teen Driver which automatically turns on certain active safety features* and allows parents to set parameters such as audio volume limits and a speed warning. It tracks your teen’s driving with an industry-first in-vehicle report card, so that you can identify potential problem areas and coach your new driver on improvements.
- Call/Text Upon Arrival:When your teen is finally ready to hit the road on their own, have them agree to text or call you after they have safely arrived at their destination. Discuss a backup plan in case of an emergency, such as how to use OnStar (if active), remembering mile markers/landmarks, call the police, etc.
- Follow Local and State Guidelines: Follow all local and state guidelines to help ensure safety of your family, and discuss these with your teen to ensure they understand the information.
- Keep Your Skills Sharp:During this time, there may not be as many opportunities for travel or to practice driving with your teen, but it’s important to take advantage of this time to continue to keep skills sharp and continue driving. Practice makes perfect and it’s important to keep these new driving skills sharp
- Ensure the Basics are Covered:Take the time to go through all the functions of the vehicle and maybe even the basics of changing a tire! It is just another family activity to add to the list of things to do.
- Keep a Sanitizing Kit: Ensure their car is equipped with a sanitizing kit featuring items like masks and hand sanitizer so they are always prepared in any event where they may need these items.
- Take Advantage of Less Crowded Streets: Less people are on the road right now, presenting a unique opportunity for your teen to get out and practice. We know practice and logging miles is one of the best ways to learn to drive and it’s easier to learn to park with fewer vehicles on the road. Take advantage of empty parking lots and less congested highways.
* Safety or driver assistance features are no substitute for the driver’s responsibility to operate the vehicle in a safe manner. The driver should remain attentive to traffic, surroundings and road conditions at all times. Visibility, weather, and road conditions may affect feature performance. Read the vehicle’s owner’s manual for more important feature limitations and information.
Tricia Morrow is Chevrolet’s Safety Engineer Manager