It’s Back to School Time and that means many of you have teenagers driving to school for the first time. Although this is an exciting time for your teen – it can also be dangerous. Here are some great ways to help prepare them for this new responsibility:

1. Emphasize Smart Driving, Not Safe Driving – Kids do not care much about being a “safe driver” but they do want to be “smart.” Talking about ability, skill and awareness are much more effective than safety.

2. Celebrate the accomplishment – Most of us remember the day we got our driver’s license, it is a big deal! Take them out for a meal or give them a gift to commemorate this new phase. This also gives you a great opportunity to remind them of the responsibility they now have.

3. Keep the conversation going – Ask questions and make suggestions within a dialog, so you can keep that window of communication about driving open, even after they get their license. If you tend to lecture your child when driving comes up, chances are they will stop talking about it with you.

4. Agree to the Rules –Even with this new freedom, structure and guidelines are still important. Create a list together with your teen and sign an agreement to follow ot. Suggestions include going over the laws in your state and agreeing upon rules about phone use, food, curfews, road conditions, number and age of passengers, and approved distances.

5. Be an Example – Maybe this one goes without saying, but kids are probably not going to listen to rules about speeding or texting if they see a parent doing it.
For more resources on teen driving safety, check with your auto insurance company, many offer training materials you can use for free. Walker Smith Body Shop of Snellville, Ga wishes you a happy and safe beginning of the 2014-2015 School Year!

Teenage Driver