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How parents can set standards for their teen drivers

It may not seem like it, but summer break is just around the corner. And if your teen recently got their license, they may be excited to hit the open road once the final bell rings. However, you may want to talk with them before they get behind the wheel.

To some, summer vacation is known as the 100 deadliest days for teen drivers. According to a recent report, the state of Illinois saw nearly 730 fatal crashes in 2019.

Luckily, there are rules you can implement to help them become safer, smarter and more defensive drivers.

What rules can I put in place?

While some of these aren’t as obvious, they are still equally as important:

  • Tell them to put their phone down: As Illinois is one of several states that prohibits handheld devices while driving, that doesn’t mean everyone follows the rules. According to Consumer Reports, 11% of drivers ages 20 and under get in fatal crashes due to texting and driving.
  • Limit how many passengers they have: It may be tempting for your teen to have multiple friends in their vehicle. However, the more people they chauffer, the more distractions they have.
  • Require them to pack an emergency kit: Especially if they are going on a long trip, they’ll want to have some safety items on hand. Some important ones include a flashlight, jumper cables and a first-aid kid.
  • Only let them drive cats with proper safety features: Most teens get an older car or get a hand-me-down from their siblings for their first vehicle. However, you may want to make sure the vehicle they’re driving has working safety features. Luckily, there are websites available that can help you and your teen find a safe and affordable model.

Creating the right rules can reduce the risk of injury

Just because your teen passed driver’s training doesn’t mean they know everything about the road. As they are young and often inexperienced, many haven’t had to deal with the unexpected. Luckily, by setting the right rules and restrictions in place, you can help steer your teen in the right direction.