Teens don’t listen. It’s just a fact. Every once in a while you’ll find one that is calm and cooperative, but generally speaking, you have to be pretty convincing if you want a teenager to do something that goes “against their nature” – like driving safely.
But for something as important as safety on the roads, it’s essential to make an impression on teens. The consequences of driving recklessly can lead to expensive repairs, higher insurance premiums, injury, and even death.
In order to avoid the above mentioned disasters, make sure you teach your teens to drive safely. But if they aren’t listening and you need some help figuring out how to convince them to drive safely, consider the tips below.
Tell Personal Stories
Rather than giving a lecture, try telling your kids about a personal experience about the dangers of reckless driving. Perhaps you were a stupid teenager once, who learned about the consequences of speeding, distracted driving or drunk driving the hard way. Or maybe you were the victim of a bad teen driver.
Spare no details in telling the story – how frightening, stressful, painful, embarrassing, and horrible the whole experience was. This should help paint a vivid picture of how real the consequences of one stupid driving moment can be.
If you don’t have a tale of your own (and hopefully you don’t) tell the story of a friend or family member who did have a bad experience.
Show them the Stats
Statistics are always a good eye opener. But most teens need help translating numbers into real meaning. It’s ok to start off by telling your kids that car accidents are the number one killer of teens in America. But then bring that statistic to life by applying those numbers to real life situations.
For example, if your child attends a high school that has about 1,000 students enrolled, tell them to imagine everyone gathered together at a pep rally or football game. Let them visualize how large a number of people that is. Then tell them that everyone would have to die 5 times to equal the amount of teen deaths from car accidents.
No doubt, you’ll see evidence of a brain cramp as they try to imagine just how large a number that is. Additionally, by imagining friends and classmates as victims of fatal car crashes, your teens will get a small taste of the emotional cost of losing a friend in an accident would be.
Yes, it is a bit morbid, but it sure is convincing.
Make Them Pay
If your teen has already managed to get themselves into a little trouble (perhaps a speeding ticket or minor fender-bender), you can make them pay for repairs to their precious car, or you can have them pay the difference between their old and new insurance rates.
This financially painful lesson will definitely teach your kids about the fiscal consequences of irresponsible driving.
Sic their Responsible Friends on Them
If you are simply “too old and strict” to be listened to, try getting to your kids through their friends. Ask your child’s friends to call them out when they are driving too fast or recklessly. Teens listen to other teens, and if your kid’s BFF tells them to “pay attention to the road, idiot!” they will.
Enforce Driving Rules
Especially for beginner drivers, it’s always smart to put a few rules in place. For instance: no driving after 9PM, no friends in the car, no loud music, no talking on the phone while driving, no texting, etc.
These types of rules are a great starting place to ease your children into safe driving habits and can be relaxed once they’ve gained your trust.
Compliment Good Driving
As important as it is to punish bad behavior, it is equally (if not more) important to applaud good driving habits. If your teen is doing a great job of driving safely, allow them more driving privileges, or help them out with car insurance or car payments.
It’s important for them to know that the only reason you bug them so much about driving safely is because you love them and want them to stay safe. And by following these simple suggestions, you should be able to instill a sense of driving safety into your kids without being a pesky parent.
Contact us to get a Florence car insurance quote for your teen at (843) 468-9718.