Insist that your teen always wears a safety belt, even for short trips to the shops. According to the Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety in Queensland, you’re 10 times more likely to be killed in a road crash if you’re not wearing a seat belt.Seat belts work because they distribute forces from a crash across the chest and pelvis, some of the strongest parts of the body. So that belt could mean the difference between getting a few bruises versus your body flying into the windscreen.
Learner and P drivers aren’t allowed to use phones at all while driving. The physical, visual and cognitive distraction leads to unsafe driving and increases the odds of a crash. Before starting the car, have your driver-in-training switch off his phone and put it out of reach. If they need to use the phone, teach them to stop and park where using a mobile phone won’t be a danger to themselves or to other road users.According to researchers, each time a driver writes and sends a text, his or her eyes are off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, enough time to drive the length of a rugby pitch. Remind your teen that it’s their job to watch the road when driving, and no one else can do it for him.
Speeding is the biggest killer of young drivers. Remind your teen that there’s no pressure to keep up with other vehicles in traffic. Keeping to the speed limit will not only reduce the risk of an accident, but also help drivers avoid costly traffic fines that can affect car insurance premiums.
It’s easy to avoid the subject of alcohol and drugs, but turning a blind eye won’t make the issue go away. Australian law states that learners and probationary license-holders must have zero alcohol in their bloodstream while driving. That’s because even small amounts of alcohol in the bloodstream affects driving ability, and increases the risk of a serious or fatal accident. It’s best to set some expectations regarding drinking and driving up front. Establish a firm rule, and stick to it.