Are you worried about your child driving with other friends? If you live in North Dakota, you might have a reason to be. According to the North Dakota Department of Transportation, car accidents involving minors are shockingly common in the state. There are many factors that can contribute, but you can help your child avoid them.
Young drivers may not have the skills or judgment to handle complex traffic situations, such as merging, changing lanes or turning. They may also overestimate their abilities or underestimate driving risks.
Young drivers are more likely to be distracted by their phones, music, passengers or other things inside or outside the vehicle. They may not pay attention to the road, traffic signs or signals or they may take their hands off the wheel or eyes off the road.
Young drivers are more likely to drink alcohol or use drugs before or while driving, which can impair their reaction time, coordination, vision and decision-making. They may also be influenced by peer pressure to drink or drive recklessly.
Young drivers are more likely to speed or drive too fast for the road conditions, which can reduce their ability to control the vehicle or avoid collisions. They may also be unaware of the speed limits or ignore them.
Young drivers and passengers are less likely to wear seat belts, which can increase their chances of being injured or killed in a crash. Seat belts can prevent occupants from being ejected from the vehicle or hitting the dashboard, windshield or other objects.
As a parent, you want to protect your child from harm and help them make good choices. Teach your child about the dangers and consequences of driving irresponsibly. Explain to them how alcohol, drugs, distraction, speeding and seat belts can affect their safety and the safety of others on the road.
Supervise your child’s driving until they gain enough experience and confidence. Accompany them on practice drives and give them constructive feedback. Limit their driving at night, in bad weather or on unfamiliar roads. Monitor their driving habits and behavior through apps or devices that track their speed, location, etc.
Set rules and boundaries for your child’s driving and enforce them. You can limit the number of passengers they can have in the car (or prohibit them altogether), restrict their phone use while driving (or require them to turn it off), set a curfew for when they have to be home (or not let them drive after dark) or forbid them from drinking alcohol or using drugs (or testing them regularly).