You might feel a mix of pride and trepidation watching your children grow up through their teens. That trepidation might turn to terror the first time they get behind the wheel of a one-ton vehicle! It takes a lot of time to develop safe driving habits and they have zero practice.
As a parent, it is a lot to handle. With the right lessons and reminders though, you may provide your teenager the tools they need to safely drive while they develop those habits.
Safety rules to follow
One way to instill good muscle memory is to encourage a routine when your teenager gets behind the wheel. Have them go through the usual checks: mirrors, seat position and—most importantly—their seatbelt. According to Connecticut Children’s Hospital, teen drivers are the least likely age group to wear seatbelts.
Another big step in this routine, especially with smartphones and social media as prevalent as they are, is curbing their distractions. Have them either turn their phone off during trips or, if they use it for music while driving, place it in a safe place where it does not draw focus.
Other basic safety tips for new teen drivers to follow include:
- Obey the speed limit
- Adjust seat, mirror and other settings before you start driving
- Maintain a safe distance from other vehicles
- Avoid eating or drinking while driving
- Plan ahead and review directions before leaving
Teen drivers must follow Connecticut laws
Connecticut has specific driver license restrictions for 16 and 17-year-old drivers. Below is a list of the specific restrictions.
Passenger: 16 and 17-year-olds can only drive with their parent or legal guardian, licensed driving instructor or individual at least 20 years old who is providing instruction on how to drive.
Seatbelts: Until driver is 18, all passengers are required to use seat belts in the vehicle.
Curfew: Until driver is 18, teen cannot drive between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. except for driving to school, employment, religious activities or medical reasons.
Cell phone use: Until driver is 18, teen cannot use a cell phone, including hands-free and other mobile electronic devices, while driving.
It is very important for teen drivers to understand and follow the state’s driver license restrictions to stay safe on the road.
Dangers of unsafe driving
While you will inevitably have to let your teenager drive on their own, you can still remind them of the costs of not adhering to these tips. Driving without a seatbelt and driving distracted are both against the law and may result in charges that suspend their license.
In the event of a car accident with your teen at the wheel, you may have vehicle repairs and physical injuries to deal with. We recommend you reach out to the firm with any questions about teen driving safety and, should the worst happen, damages claims regarding teen auto accidents.