So You're a Parent?

The Talk You Should be Having About Car Safety

Teen Drivers and Car Safety Tips
Lauren Topor
Written by Lauren Topor

There comes a time during parenthood when your child upgrades from a Big Wheel to a real set of wheels during his teen years. Read further for car safety tips

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There comes a time during parenthood when your once-little one will upgrade from a Big Wheel to a real set of wheels during his teen years. And while you may be reluctant to hand over the keys at first, having an important talk about all things car safety can ease your worries. So, before you let your teen take the car, these are the things you should talk about first.

The Statistics

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), automobile crashes are the top killer of teens in the U.S. And of those crashes, more than half of the teens involved in fatalities were not wearing seat belts. The CDC also cites that teens are more likely to underestimate both hazardous and dangerous situations on the road, and also more likely to speed than any other age group.

Simply talking about road hazards, wearing a seatbelt and speeding can help prevent crashes. And, as a parent, you can make a rule that if your teen gets a speeding ticket, he is solely responsible for paying it. You can bet he will follow the speed limit after that.

Taking Ownership

Part of owning a vehicle is taking proper care of it. From changing the oil to checking the tires and having the engine routinely inspected — having a car is a big responsibility. Be sure that your teen knows about the responsibility he is taking on by teaching him about the importance of regular auto maintenance. For example, talk to your teen about the importance of tires. Though often overlooked, tires affect a car’s handling, braking, ride and overall safety.

For families that live in cold climates, frequently drive on potholes or drive long distances regularly, tires should be inspected more often. Teach your teen to spot the signs of tire wear such as tread wear and inflation levels. Teach them tire maintenance tips like rotating, balancing and tire alignment as well. And when it comes time to buy new tires, help your teen make an informed decision and buy from a trusted dealer that sells top brands like BF Goodrich, for example.

Distracted Driving

We’ve all done it — checked a text, taken a call or looked down at our phone. However, to keep your teen safe on the road, you’re going to need to lead by example and put your smartphone away. Young adults make up the largest group of distracted drivers, and that includes your teen. According to data reported by CellphoneSafety.org, texting is a major cause of car accidents among teen drivers in the United States. In addition to leading by example to keep your teen safe while driving, setting a series of strict rules about cellphone use in the car can help keep your teen safe while driving. Have your teen put his phone completely out of sight, like in a backpack or in the glove compartment.

Identity Magazine is all about empowering women to get all A’s in the game of life – Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.™ Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. Their answers can be random and in the moment or they can be aligned with the above article. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and inspire you to get all A’s.

1. What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? What are you still working on accepting?

That we have to all appreciate the little things and to not take anything for granted

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I’m blessed to have loving family and friends in my life.

3. What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What makes YOU most proud? What goals and dreams do you still have?

Proud graduate from Arizona State University in 2013.  Goals to travel more and always learn from new experiences. Maybe one day I’ll even write a book about it. One day…

4. We all have imperfections, so we think. The truth—we are all perfectly imperfect. What are your not-so-perfect ways? What imperfections and quirks create who you are—your Identity?

Nobody’s perfect and it’s been hard to accept it. I’ve learned to embrace my curly hair, my curves and my quirky personality.

5. “I Love My…” is an outlet for you to express and appreciate all the positive traits that make you…well… YOU! Sharing what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (we assure you!) Identity challenges you to complete the phrase “I Love My…?”

I love my unwavering intensity. Everything I do is 100 percent.

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About the author

Lauren Topor

Lauren Topor

Lauren Topor is a lifestyle writer based in the Southwest who spends her days writing about food and health, fashion, fitness and entertainment.