The emotions of parents and their new teenage drivers are usually at opposite ends of the spectrum. A teen going out for their first independent drive will probably feel intensely excited. Their parents will likely feel terrified.
It only takes half a second for a mistake at the wheel to occur. You don’t want anything bad to happen to your teen driver, but you also don’t want to refuse them this crucial rite of passage.
There are many rules that can help keep your teenager safe, like a no-texting rule and a zero-tolerance rule for drugs or alcohol before driving. However, there is another, less common rule that could go a long way to help keep your young driver safe.
Do you need to set a driving curfew?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are a handful of factors responsible for the vast majority of teenage car crashes. Inexperience on the part of young drivers is the top contributing risk factor.
However, other concerns at the top of the list include driving with other teenagers in the vehicle, impairments and driving after dark. Setting a driving curfew could help reduce your teen’s risk due to all three of those factors. Until your teenager is older and has more experience on the road, having their driving privileges end at least half an hour before sunset could go a long way toward keeping them safe.
How a driving curfew helps protect your child
Your young adults will likely roll their eyes and argue with you if you tell them you don’t want them driving once the sun starts setting. However, not allowing them to drive during sunset and after dark helps protect them from the most dangerous time of day for teen drivers.
Additionally, if your teen feels free to drive late at night, they might go to parties or hang out with friends and make bad choices. Whether driving with a group of people and singing along to the radio instead of paying attention or booze cruising with their friends to feel rebellious, late-night socialization for teenagers and cars can be a dangerous combination.
If your teen wants to go to a party or has a job that requires them to work in the afternoon or evening, you may need to arrange to drop them off and pick them up to keep them as safe as possible. While it may not make you the coolest parent on the block, it could help your teen avoid a serious crash.