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5 Must-Know Safety Tips for New Drivers

When a teenager gets their license, it’s an exciting time for them and potentially a stressful one for their parents. Driving on your own opens up a new world of freedom and possibilities, but with this newfound freedom also comes a good amount of responsibility. As new drivers, teenagers have to be aware that they’re in charge of not only their safety but also the safety of others on the road. 

As you prepare your teenager to start driving, review five important teen driver safety tips.

5 Important Safety Tips for Teenage Drivers

Whether it’s learning how to teach a teen to drive defensively, buying the best car for teen drivers, or installing teen driver monitoring devices in your teen’s vehicle, there’s plenty you can do to prepare your teenager for the road. Before you give your teen the go-ahead to drive without you, follow these five safety tips for teenage drivers:

1. Practice Defensive Driving 

Defensive driving is the best strategy you can use to teach a teen to drive so that they’re safe and sound on the road once they get their license. Your new driver should always be prepared to react accordingly to things like crashes, aggressive drivers, inclement weather, and everything else that can happen on the road, regardless of trip length.

Some important defensive driving best practices to communicate to them include paying attention to speed limits, giving an appropriate amount of space to the cars around them, and avoiding aggressive movements like tailgating or sudden lane changes. 

Try to drill into their head that it’s always better to be a few minutes late than put their life or other’s lives at risk. It’s okay to drive like a grandma!  

2. Minimize Distractions

Of all the wonderful things and conveniences that smartphones bring to our lives, they are also a massive risk for distraction when driving and can be a major teen driver safety risk. Your teen may want to change their music, look at that text they just received, or check any number of things on their phone while they’re driving.

It is extremely important to let them know that distracted driving is dangerous driving, and if they absolutely need to check or answer their phone, they should pull over to a safe location beforehand. 

You should be setting a good example by not using your phone while they’re in the car with you so that they can see what safe driving looks like. Getting them in the habit of getting their music and directions pulled up before they start driving can also be a way to reduce the chance they start using their phone while driving.

3. How to Perform Basic Car Maintenance  

Basic car maintenance is essential for anybody who is setting out to drive. Things like changing tires, jumping a car’s battery, checking tire pressure and tread depth, making sure your brakes are working, and monitoring fluids are all basic skills your teen should know when they’re getting started driving.

Your local tire shop should have all of the tools your teen needs to have in their car for basic vehicle care, such as a tire gauge, tread measurer, change kit, and jumper cables.  

Consider enrolling them in a new driver course at your local shop so they can learn all the skills they need from the pros. These courses are extremely informative and can make the difference between a new driver getting stuck on the side of the road or making it home safely. 

4. Take Advantage of Teen Driver Monitoring Software

Teenagers aren’t known for always making the most clear-headed and rational decisions. Fortunately, teen driver monitoring software can help parents know their teenager is driving safely. Even though you can have your teen install an app on their phone to track their driving, teens can often get around these tracking devices by turning off their phones or finding another way around the app. 

Instead of using a phone-based app, you may want to install an onboard diagnostic tracker in their vehicle to more accurately track and receive notifications about their speed, location, and driving performance (e.g., are they braking too hard?). Sometimes, vehicles have tracking capabilities already included with them that you can use instead of installing a third-party device and app.

While a teen driver may not love being tracked, it can be really useful in knowing how safely they’re driving without parental supervision—and keep them safe in the long run. If you notice they’re regularly speeding or doing something unsafe while driving, you can address the problem before it becomes a habit. If your teen is against monitoring technology, you can highlight how it can help you find them faster if they’re in a wreck or some other accident where they can’t call or text you.

5. The Importance of a Safe Car Over a Flashy One

A safe, reliable vehicle for your teen’s first car is a good way to learn the rules of the road and get used to operating vehicles in general. 

Flashy sports cars or big trucks may be fun, but a solid sedan will always be the best car for teen drivers. The Toyota Corolla is one of the gold-standard vehicles for a new driver, as it’s safe, easy to work on, and gets great mileage. 

If you’re planning on passing down an older car to your teen driver, be sure it’s up to date on all of its inspections and necessary maintenance before you hand over the keys. Have them come with you or help you as you get it ready for them to drive. Getting the car ready together can help them see what they should be doing themselves to ensure that their car is safe and road-ready!

Sign Your Teen Up for an Automotive Learning Workshop at Chapel Hill Tire 

If you live near Durham, Chapel Hill, Raleigh, or the surrounding Triangle area and you’re trying to help your teen get ready to drive, Chapel Hill Tire can help. Our Automotive Learning Workshop is a great way to get them ready for the road and provide them with the skills they need to be a responsible driver. We have all the tools and materials they may need when starting out, and we’d be happy to take a look at an older car to make sure it’s ready to go.

Learn more about our Automotive Learning Workshop today. If you need car maintenance or repair services, please make an appointment at one of our convenient locations in the Triangle Area. We also offer a great set of coupons you can take advantage of to keep your costs low!

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