What Parents With Teen Drivers Should Know

10 Helpful Tips for Parents with Teen Drivers

September 28, 2021


While it can be exciting for both parties involved once your teenager starts driving, there is lot of responsibility – and risk – involved. For starters, you’ll want to figure out what car your child will be using, when they will be using it, and where they will be going. Remember: your influence is the most important influence when it comes to your child’s driving habits. This means that if you want your child to be safe on the road and practice proper driving behaviour, you’ll need to do the same.

Teen Driving Statistics

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of teen death in Canada according to The Traffic Injury Research Foundation. There are several factors contributing to these accidents, but there are still some prevailing reasons for accidents in this age group. The most common reasons for an accident in this age group include: overconfidence, speeding, impaired driving, distracted driving or distractions in the car, and inexperience. Additionally, seat belt use among teens is the lowest of any age group on the road today.

According to MADD Canada, alcohol and/or drugs are also a factor in 55% of the crashes that occur for those aged 16-25.

A Parent’s Influence

As teenagers hit the road for the first time in their lives, they have only the influence of their parents and other parental figures to guide them as they take this major step. Simply put, there is a direct relation between parents who have tickets, later having young drivers with their own tickets. The same can be said about accidents; where there are parents who have had an accident, there are often young drivers with their own accident. This means that parents have some major control over their children’s future driving habits, so it is important to make sure you are being a good role model on the roads.

To help guide you as a positive role model, here are 10 helpful tips for parents with teen drivers.

1. Spend time teaching your young driver – Most driving education courses will recommend spending at least 100 hours behind the wheel with parents or a guardian figure before going for their driver’s test. This way, your child can learn to model good behaviour and gain some proper experience in a safe, educational space.

2. Discuss emergency situations with your child – Take time to explain to your child how to react to certain situations, such as someone swerving into your lane, unfavourable road conditions, and what to do if your car breaks down.

3. Give them time to observe – Have your new driver observe other drivers when not behind the wheel and point out any mistakes they make. This gives them a better understanding of how to approach certain situations before they even take the wheel.

4. Maintain some rules – Set time limits, speed limits, road restrictions, and other rules before they start to drive. Not sure your teen is ready for that tricky, blind corner in town? Have them build up some confidence in other areas before you both tackle some of the harder parts of driving.

5. Maintain a positive attitude – Show your teenager how to keep a calm and level-headed attitude behind the wheel.

6. Plan your route – Teach your teenager how to practice advanced route planning before they head out for a drive.

7. Practice, practice, practice – In areas that are open and safe (empty parking lots are great), practice things like starting, accelerating, turning, stopping, backing up and parking. Good driving habits must become a natural reflex to ensure your child’s safety on the road.

8. Stress the rules of the road – Have your child read the most up-to-date version of The Official MTO Driver’s Handbook and stress the importance of these rules to them.

9. Talk about the consequences – Explain to them how much it will cost for them to drive and talk about the dangers that come from unsafe driving, like a speeding ticket or an accident.

10. Practice what you preach – Remember new drivers learn from example, so your behavior behind the wheel is more influential than any of the driving techniques you teach.

Remember, you are the biggest influence on your child – that means if you drive safe, your child will be more likely to drive safe!

Looking for the best price on insurance for your teen driver? Give us a call at 1-888-298-7343 to speak to one of our Excalibur Defenders today, or try our online Rate Reducer.