Now that your teen is ready to get behind the wheel on their own, you are likely interested in finding ways to keep them safe without taking away the freedom and independence they crave. You can't be a passenger everywhere your teen wants to go, so you'll need to cover your bases in a way that allows you to offer support even when you aren't there in person to do so. Here are four non-invasive things you can to do help keep your teen safe while they're on the road:
Invest in Roadside Assistance
One of the easiest ways to make sure that your teen stays safe behind the wheel is to invest in emergency roadside assistance. Most programs offer yearly memberships so you don't have to worry about making monthly payments. With the help of an emergency roadside service, your teen can count on support for things such as:
- Gas Delivery
- Flat Tire Changing
- Dead Battery Charging or Replacement
- Towing Due to Breakdowns
Your teen's name and driver's license number will need to be listed on the roadside assistance plan in order to use the service when you are not there to authorize it's use personally – it's a good idea to list both of you as contacts so you can keep track of and manage how often your teen is using the service, and therefore keep excess charges from accruing due to overuse.
Create and Store an Emergency Kit
Another effective way to support your teen's safety on the road is to create and store a handy emergency bag in the trunk of the vehicle. This bag should include flares, jumper cables, and a first-aid kit in addition to copies of the vehicle's insurance information, registration paperwork, and emergency contact information for yourself, the police, a local hospital, and close friends and family members who can be counted on in times of emergency. A debit-card with money for public transportation and other necessities can come in handy if your teen is driving long distances without an adult in the vehicle with them.
Install a GPS Tracking System
As long as the device is not kept secret from your teen as if you're spying on them, a GPS tracking device can be an effective safety tool that provides you with some peace of mind when it comes to safety. Experts say that a monitoring device can keep your teen's driving habits in check and greatly reduce the practice of dangerous driving habits.
With most GPS tracking systems you can simply log into your account online to find out exactly where your teen's vehicle is at any given time. You can also monitor your teen on camera while they're behind the wheel if you feel it necessary, and manage radio controls as well as limit speaker volume abilities. Some GPS tracking systems even make it possible to set speed limits, which can come in handy for highway and back road driving.
Plan Monthly Road Trips Together
Planning a monthly trip together will give you an opportunity to ride as a passenger while your teen is behind the wheel so you can observe how their driving skills are coming along and ensure that they haven't picked up any dangerous driving habits since the last time your teen drove you somewhere. This time will also give you an opportunity to explore new areas together where your teen hasn't yet driven so they can get some practice in before driving in those areas on their own.
These methods and techniques will keep your teen safer while behind the wheel and provide you with some extra peace of mind without sacrificing the trust and integrity you both deserve to have for one another.