Why You Should Wait With Giving Your Teenager a Car
Children and teenagers are very much alike; they crave freedom and independence even though it’s not always what’s best for them. That’s why it’s so good to have a parent who dares to say no and avoid giving them too much freedom at once, even though it may lead to a few arguments.
When it comes to teenagers and driving, saying no to giving them a car of their own may often be better than giving them the freedom straight away.
Here is a handful of excellent reasons to why you should wait, as well as how you can tell them no without causing any resentment.
The first year on the road
While you may tell your children that youth behind the wheel is quite a lot more likely to end up in an accident, they’ll probably just roll their eyes at you. Young and reckless, right? The truth is that teenagers are ten times more likely to be in an accident the first year on the road – and having the privilege of owning a car of their own makes the risk so much higher.
It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t encourage them to get their licence, of course, or that you should stand in their way of learning how to drive. Something that is seen as such an important rite of passage for many teenagers should not be taken away from them – but having unlimited access to their own vehicle is a whole other matter.
Teenagers and distractions
As adults on the road, we’re familiar with the noise and disturbance that may happen in the back seat. It’s distracting for anyone, really, no matter how long we’ve been on the road. The problem with teenagers and owning a car is that they tend to fill them with passengers of their own age, loud music, and general teenager behavior that may be dangerous to pair with driving.
Accidents are a lot more likely to occur when the driver is distracted, and any car accident lawyer can testify to the fact that young drivers with multiple teen passengers are twice as likely to be in a crash as alcohol-impaired drivers. It’s quite eye-opening when you think about the dangers of drinking and driving.
While we always preach sobriety to those operating a vehicle, we should actually be steering the conversation over to the environment in their cars. Have a look at this insightful article for more statistics on teenagers and driving – there’s even a guide to the safest cars for young drivers, by the way, when you think the time is right.
Lay off the phones
You may be aware of the laws involving driving and the use of cellphones that rolled out this month in several states. It includes texting and social media, by the way, and the driver will be subject to a hefty fine if they’re caught red-handed while the car is in motion. For repeat offenders, it may even mean some time spent in jail.
Let your teenagers drive and enjoy the privilege of growing up, but consider waiting another year before picking out their new car.
You can find a lot of safe vehicles for teenagers out there as well, and you get to preach road safety until their ears fall off in the meantime.