The day your teenager gets their first car can spell freedom for you and them. You get evenings and weekends to do what you want instead of acting as chauffeur, and your teen — well, they get to do what they want without your permission.
That is how things often work when teenagers get their first car, yet perhaps it should not. Until your child turns 18, they are still your responsibility, and as much as they might protest, you need to put down some laws as to their car use.
Learning to drive safely takes time
Teens, especially males, are the age group with the highest crash risk. So, the most dangerous car for a teen is the one they get to drive. Once they head into their twenties, the risk of injuring themselves and others in a crash drops.
How can you help your child stay safe on the road?
Here are some things to consider before handing your newly qualified child the vehicle keys:
- Limit what they drive: Even if you can afford to buy your child an Aston Martin, save it until they have the maturity and experience to handle it. Powerful cars increase the risk your child does not return home.
- Limit when they drive: Nightime driving is more dangerous. Rush-hour driving is more complex.
- Limit where they drive: Living so close to the start of Route 66 does not mean your child is ready to get their kicks on such a long trip. Build up distance and driving time gradually. Driving to parties is not a good idea either, as it increases their risk of drinking and driving.
- Limit with whom they drive: Your child needs to concentrate on the road, not on smiling for a selfie their friend is taking.
However well your child drives, another driver could still injure them. When this happens, the other party’s insurer may blame your child for the crash. You will need help to prove them wrong and claim the compensation your child needs.