Teenagers or teens are those that are of 13 to 19 years old and are transitioning into adulthood. They’re not exactly young and they are not old either. Their usual activities include studying, going to school, hanging out with friends, and helping out with house chores. But there are some parents who let their teens drive at an early age.
The earliest legal age of driving in the Philippines is at 16 years old, and by this age
The teens think it’s cool and the parents believe it is helpful for them to be more responsible and independent. Sadly, these adolescents make up the most auto accidents than any other age group. It seems like they are less informed about the road rules, plus they get more distracted too. So Philkotse.com has come up with tips to promote safe teen driving.
1. Practice with them a lot
Make sure they had maximum practice before getting a license and before getting to drive in highways. You supervising them will be a great help in making sure that they learn everything they need to learn about driving and that feeling of security will carry on as they drive solo.
They will feel empowered to drive more safely when they know you have spent money, time, and effort on teaching them how to drive and trusting them to actually do it.
Aside from the formal training, monitoring your teen while they practice a lot is still one of the best ways
2. Hands off the cellphone for safe teen driving
Teenagers nowadays seem to be too connected with their smartphones. If you come to think of it, in this day and age, who isn’t? But texting, calling, surfing the net just never goes with driving and you have to make your teen understand that by heart.
The best way to do it is to turn off the cell phone and put it away out of reach or on the glove compartment. Also, practice what you preach.
Parents, be a good example: If your teen sees you breaking this rule anyway then he or she won’t take it seriously
3. As much as possible, let them know how to avoid ALL kinds of distractions
It’s not only the smartphone that is distracting for your teen, but there’s also singing to the radio, combing hair, fixing make-up, eating, drinking, smoking, and looking for a certain street that’s distracting. Intrusive thoughts also count so they need to be in top shape before sitting in front of the wheels.
Sure, there were times we have to multi-task, but doing it while driving is a big no-no
4. Make them always wear the seatbelt
This safety device prevents passenger ejection when severe accidents happen. Seatbelts reduce the risk of death in car crashes by 45% to get them to wear it all the time. Turn it into a habit, one activity that doesn’t require thinking anymore or their bodies do it better than their minds. Buckle up before starting the car. Always remind your teens how much wearing a seatbelt can save their lives.
Always remind your teens how much wearing a seatbelt can save their lives
5. Make the car that they are driving accident proof
Aside from the seatbelt, gear the car with the latest safety equipment such as airbags, electronic stability control, and anti-lock brakes. This will reduce trauma and chances of surviving increases by a mile when you have some of these tools on.
Double the safety with car tools such as airbags
6. Let them know when it’s not okay to drive
Tell your teen not to drive if their thinking and judgment has been compromised. Partying is part of almost every teenager and they might be tempted to drink on them. No matter how hard you tell them to not drink and drive there can still be a probability that they do it.
Make sure to check up on them and always be ready on standby to pick them up yourself
If they are too tired, educate them that it is okay to stop and rest before continuing to drive. Tell them that if they experience any daydreaming, head rocking, eyes blink frequently, and they find it difficult to focus then by all means they should stop smoothly, if possible on the side of the road, and take a rest. They can have at least 20 minutes of their power nap.
7. Let them know traffic rules by heart
You require them to get good grades at school and know a bunch of information, but you might have them missing out on one of the most important knowledge they need to know in life – rules of driving. They must learn to obey speed limits law in the Philippines, they must know their lanes, what each traffic sign means, or learn to stop at red lights.
Any individual must train themselves to know all the existing traffic rules and signs in order to maximize their ability to drive safely
8. Make them be defensive drivers
Since they still lack the experience, there is nothing wrong with them being defensive drivers. This means they need to be carefully looking at all sides of the cars, all the mirrors. They must also maintain a safe distance, which is at least one car length from the vehicle in front of them.
That’s just in slow paces but in fast lanes then they need to stay at least 3 cars length away from the one in front of him or her. Learn more about teen driving in the Philippines here.
Defensive driving means to be aware of everything around you in order to have an accurate judgment when you're driving
9. Minimize other teens as passengers or drive solo
Statistics show that teens get to be more distracted when there are other teens around. Either they get distracted or they feel more pressured to act or drive differently than what they are taught. We guess that is their nature so it is best to not let more than one other teenager be his or her passenger or just don’t let anyone else in at all.
Driving with adult supervision is still the best way practice your teen's driving skills and in handling the pressures that come with it
10. Be a driver that gives way
Set an example and don’t be too aggressive on the road. This one rule is often most overlooked but it is crucial too to avoid road rage. If they see someone that is about to overtake them then let them know it is okay even if they have all the rights to refuse.
Tell them that their goal is to get to their destination and letting drivers be ahead of them is no big deal. Tell them not to tailgate and if they notice someone doing that to them, give way.
Always remind your teens not to show any rude sign or give any rude remark to a lot of strangers on the road
It doesn't matter whether you are a teen or not, when it is your first time be in charge of the vehice, you need to be willing to train a lot in order to secure your safe driving. The difference is that, teenagers tend to be adventurous that they may actually compromise their own safety, along with their passengers'.
If you are a parent who is eager to teach your teen how to drive, it is best to be a good example by practicing the dos and donts on your own.