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4 Ways Parents Can Keep Teen Drivers Safer

Teenagers and a car
The fact that your child is now old enough to drive is a scary concept to embrace, but once your child has a taste of the open road, you can't do much to hold them back. However, you can do a lot when it comes to keeping your child safe on the road.

Whether you are planning to buy a car for your child or they will drive your vehicle, address these important safety tips before handing over the keys.

1. Limit Passengers

While an accident can occur at any moment, experienced drivers are typically less prone to crashes than inexperienced drivers. Teen drivers are not experienced drivers. In fact, drivers who are 16 to 19 years old face three times the risk of being killed in a car accident than drivers who are at least 20 years old.

 A teen's risk of collision is even greater when they have a group of friends in the car. Limit the passengers that your child can have until they gain more experience.

Additionally, Michigan exercises a graduated license (GDL) structure, which sets guidelines for drivers based on their license class. If your teen has a Level 2 license, the law states that the child can't drive with more than one passenger who is under the age of 21. 

2. Rely on Technology

Technology has both good and bad qualities, but it can be an excellent tool for promoting safety with your teen driver. First, ensure the car has some form of a hands-free solution, such as a Bluetooth feature.

While you want to discourage your child from talking while driving, in the event they must use their phone, it is much safer to use a hands-free system than to hold the phone. Holding a phone takes one hand off the wheel and reduces your control of the car.

Technology is also available that allows parents to monitor the vehicle's speed or block their child's ability to text when the vehicle is in motion.

3. Research Roadside Services

Now is the time to start investigating roadside services. Once your child starts driving, they could be on one side of town and you could be on the other when they run out of fuel, get a flat tire, or the car breaks down. When you can't get to your child immediately, confidence that help is on the way can ease your concerns.

Sit down and research local tow companies in the area, look for reviews, and even request rate information. Once you find a company best suited for your needs, program their information in your phone and your child's phone so that they can immediately call for help. 

4. Discuss Emergency Plans

Among 16-year-old drivers, at least one in every five drivers in this group will be involved in a crash. Make sure your child knows exactly what to do when involved in an accident.

For example, assuming your child is uninsured, make sure they know to first move their vehicle to safety if possible and turn their hazard lights on. Tell your teen that their next steps should be to move safely away from the vehicle, contact the police and tow company, and then contact you.

Go over this plan multiple times to ensure it's ingrained in their mind, which may help keep them calmer in the event of an accident. 

When you discuss these important tips with your child, you do your part to help keep your child safe. Whether the problem is a flat tire or an unfortunate collision, at Rusko's Service Center, we are here to help your family. Don't hesitate to contact us when in need. 

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