National Teen Driver Safety Week is not only an important opportunity for parents of teenagers, but it is also an important opportunity for parents of younger children.
Your child’s driving education and safe driving habits start long before your child gets a learner’s permit or an initial driver’s license from the State of Illinois and, as is the case for most things, your child’s first and best teacher is you.
How to Teach Children to Drive Safely
Teaching children to drive safely doesn’t happen overnight. It is a process that starts as soon as your children are old enough to be aware of their surroundings. Therefore, you must always be a role model. It may not seem like your children are watching and learning, but they are doing both from the backseat. Accordingly, it is important to:
- Always wear your seat belt.
- Always obey the speed limit.
- Always use a turn signal.
- Always be a courteous and careful driver.
- Never drink and drive.
- Never hold your phone and drive or text and drive.
These things will not only teach your children what to do when they get behind the wheel to avoid car crashes, but they will also keep your children safe while you are still the driver.
Step Up Your Actions as Your Teen Gets Close to Driving Age
Now is the time to explain why you are doing what you’re doing behind the wheel and to require certain things from your child. Before you allow your child to get a license, for example, you can insist that your child:
- Complete a driver’s education course.
- Drive with you often, at different times of day, and in different weather conditions.
- Understand Illinois’ graduated licensing laws.
- Enter a driving contract with you so that the rules of driving are clear and the consequences are predictable.
In 2018, National Teen Driver Safety week begins on October 21 and ends on October 27. We hope that you will use this time to begin talking to your kids about being safe drivers, but we hope that your actions will not end on October 27. Instead, let’s keep the conversation going and take steps to protect our kids, and everyone else’s kids, on Illinois roads.