Help your teen become a safer driver with these tips

There are several things parents should and should not do as they help their teen learn to drive and become a safe driver.

Many parents in New York have concerns about the safety of their teen driver after their son or daughter gets his or her driver's license. These concerns are often warranted because according to the National Safety Council, half of all teenagers will be involved in a motor vehicle collision before they graduate from high school. However, there are still steps parents can take to encourage their teen to stay safe behind the wheel.

Where to start

Parents with a teen who is new to driving should ease their child into the process by limiting supervised driving sessions to 20 minutes. As their teen gains more confidence and skill, parents can lengthen these sessions, include nighttime drives and expose their teen to driving in poor weather conditions, such as snow and rain.

Regardless of how experienced their teen driver is, parents should also model good driving behavior at all times. Parents should never drive while distracted, always wear their seatbelt and pay attention to how they are driving.

Additionally, parents should be patient with their child as they learn to drive and use mistakes as learning experiences. For example, if the teen driver has not checked his or her rearview mirror in a while, he or she should be gently reminded to be aware of other vehicles.

What to avoid

On top of taking the following actions listed above, there are several things parents should avoid to help their teen to become a safe driver. For example, parents should never allow their teenager to use his or her smartphone behind the wheel. Parents should require their teen to put the cellphone in a place where he or she will not become distracted by it, like the glove compartment, before he or she starts driving.

Parents should also refrain from being critical or negative as they work with their teen during driving sessions. A positive, calm and supportive atmosphere should be maintained so good habits can be developed. For instance, instead of telling their teen that if he or she does not slow down, he or she will receive a ticket, they should simply ask their teen what the speed limit is on the current road.

Contact an attorney

While parents in New York may do their best to help their teen stay safe behind the wheel, they cannot control the actions of other drivers. Those injured in a car accident caused by a negligent driver should contact an attorney in their area for legal assistance.