Teens as with most new drivers start out with a learner’s permit. In Georgia it is called a learner’s license. The driver is only allowed to drive with a licensed driver in the car. This is for the purpose of learning the roads and road safety. The learner’s permit gives the new driver the practice to feel confidence while driving, and to learn competency in making certain maneuvers while in traffic and while parking the vehicle. A major turning point in our teens’ lives is when they get their driver’s license.
Teenagers, often times believe they are invincible. They don’t seem to realize how fragile their lives are, and one impulsive move could mean the end of their lives. Did you know that more teens are killed each year by car crashes than any other cause of death? 5,341 teens between the ages of 16 and 19 lost their lives; and between the ages of 15 to 20 years 3,608 teens were killed and 337,000 were injured in the US. In the last 10 years 68,000 teens have died in motor vehicle accidents according the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
As parents, we want to teach our teens to become safe drivers, and to drive responsibly. Many of us wait at home on needles and pins until our kids come home safely. It is so hard for us to let go and let our children grow up because the road is not always a safe place to be. It is our job as parents to monitor our teens experience behind the wheel. It takes time to acquire driving skills. We don’t just learn how to drive at 16 and become an independent driver. For that reason, we need to set limits on our kids when they are beginning to drive.
Our kids often say we nag them, because they say they know the rules of safe driving; however, as parents we would be negligent if we did not remind them of such things as to always fasten their seat belts; drive within the speed limits, and slower if it’s raining or snowing, or there is ice on the road. We never want to assume that our teens might take a drink of alcohol or take drugs, but it happens all the time. Our teens may never drink alcohol, but one time at a friend’s house could be the first and last. We as parents need to cover all the bases. Tell them and tell them and tell them. They will get sick of hearing you tell them, but tell them anyway. It is better that your kid gets a little annoyed with you for repeating the same message, than to be dead in a car wreck because you assumed they would follow all the rules.
My best friend’s teenage daughter was killed in an accident. Her dad will never be able to see her beautiful face again. He will never be able to tell her again that he loves her. Her mother will never help her pick out a wedding dress. There will never be anymore tomorrows, because her life was taken in a tragic traffic accident.