For parents, raising children comes with many milestones. While most are exciting, many of these big moments also bring along with them a significant amount of worry on mom and dad’s part. After your child has taken her first steps, been potty trained, started Kindergarten and memorized her home address, it’s almost time to teach her about good driving habits. (Technically there’s about a decade of time between learning an address and driving a car, but it goes by pretty fast.)

Teenage drivers are four times more likely to crash on the road as older, more experienced drivers. However, you can help combat that statistic in your household by setting some ground rules before your child takes the keys. While they may not love the rules, you’ll feel better knowing that they’re practicing good driving habits.

Here are our first three rules for new drivers:

1. Put the phone away.

Don’t even touch it! Although many places have laws against using cell phones while driving, electronics are still the top distraction for drivers. Make it clear to your teen that there is to be no texting, calling, Tweeting or playing DJ unless the car is in park. Have a punishment in place beforehand in case they break this rule. There are even apps available that prevent texting while driving.

2. Don’t be your friends’ chauffeur.

When a teen gets his license, his first reaction is to want to pile up everyone he knows in the backseat and drive anywhere that the parents aren’t. But the risk of a 16- or 17-year-old driver dying in a crash is 44% more likely with one teenage passenger in the car than if he or she was alone. That number only increases with each additional teenage passenger.

Set firm rules about passengers for your teen about this. As time goes on, you can ease up on the restrictions, but only after they have had lots of practice without the distractions.

3. Learn basic car maintenance.

Your child doesn’t need to know how to rebuild an engine or change the brake pads, but she should feel comfortable with the basics. Keeping a car in good shape is an important responsibility that all drivers have and it is important to instill that in your teen early on.

Take some time to teach your child what the dash lights mean and how and when to check things like tires and oil. They should know how to fill tires with air and change a flat, at the very least.


Check back soon for Rules to Set for Your Teen Drivers: Part Two!

If you’re looking for a great first car for your child, Luther Nissan has a great inventory of pre-owned and Certified Pre-Owned vehicles! Our CPO vehicles pass every test imaginable, so you know you’re getting a safe, reliable vehicle for the best price!
Categories: News, Community Events
Tags: Teens, Rules