School is back in session and new teenage drivers are ready to hit the road. While most teen drivers are overjoyed to have reached this new milestone, their parents may feel uneasy about the transition and slightly concerned for their child’s safety. If your child is driving to school this year, share the following safety tips to encourage safe driving.

  1. Always wear a seatbelt. Seatbelts can save lives and reduce potential injuries in an accident. A seatbelt can prevent drivers and passengers from hitting the windshield, being thrown from the vehicle, and hitting the wheel and/or door of the vehicle.
  2. Turn off your cell phone Many studies have revealed that texting while driving can be equated to driving drunk. Maryland’s cell phone law prohibits a driver from using a cell phone while a motor vehicle is in motion.
  3. Drive solo. Having a teenage passenger in the car can double the risk of causing a car accident.[1]
  4. Leave 10- 20 minutes early. The stress of morning traffic and running late can cause teens to drive recklessly. By leaving 10- 20 minutes earlier it will provide enough time to get to school without feeling tempted to tailgate, speed, or weave through traffic.
  5. Practice defensive driving. Safe driving techniques include: driving the speed limit, being prepared to react to other drivers, and maintaining a safe following distance.

Parents have a tremendous impact on their teens’ driving habits. We encourage all parents to discuss what it means to practice defensive driving and what to look out for while traveling on the roads.

[1] http://www.dmv.org/insurance/safe-driving-tips-for-teenage-drivers.php