How To Guide Your Teen To Safety On The Roads

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Did you know that motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among American teenagers, killing nearly 5,000 teenagers every year? Here are some tips to help you play an active role in the process of making your teen a safe driver:

Before you hit the road:
-Lower the vanity mirror on the passenger side so you can use it as your rearview mirror.
-Discuss the route, noting "watch-outs" (busy intersections, four-way stops, etc.).
-Take a deep breath and remind yourself to be calm and patient. Remember— not all parents are cut out to be driving teachers. If you're not, ask your spouse or an adult you trust to take on the job.

Behind the Wheel:
-Use a gentle tone of voice.
-Give clear directions well before any maneuver.
-Watch for signs of stress or anxiety (white knuckles, tense arms, etc.).
-Encourage your teen to talk about what they see and what they plan to do.
-Don't distract them by talking too much.
-Be generous with your praise.
-If your teen makes a mistake, ask them to pull off the road when safe, and discuss what went wrong.

-Practice what you preach. If you speed, roll through stop signs, make rude gestures at other drivers or chat on your cell phone while driving, your teen is likely to do the same.

When you arrive safely back at home, here are some suggested topics to discuss together:
-Evaluate the driving experience together.
-Give your teen a chance to point out their mistakes.
-Ask your teen what they could have done differently.
-Praise your teen for what they did well.

Don't be afraid to be parental. You're still the authority figure they most admire.
They won't ever say so, but it's what teens want and what they need—a parent, not a friend. In fact, in a recent survey, 3 out of 4 teens said parents are the biggest influence over how they drive. So use your power and you can save lives!

For more information on making your teen a safe driver, please visit
Allstate Insurance Company.

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