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6 Promises To Expect From Young Drivers

When your teen starts taking driving lessons, it's only natural to worry. However, that won't do any good unless you take actions to help prevent the potential problems that cause many parents sleepless nights when their kids hit "Sweet 16" and get licensed to drive.

Car crashes are the leading cause of teen deaths, but many crashes among teens can be prevented. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more distracted teen drivers were at the wheel in fatal car crashes than any other age group.

Help motivate your teens to avoid distracted driving by demanding these six promises before you let them hit the road.

Promise #1: Always Turn off Cell Phones Before Starting the Car

Cell phone use is a top distraction for drivers, and teenagers may be especially tempted to text friends while driving. Spend a lot of time ensuring that your teens truly understand the possible consequences of even sending one text while behind the wheel. You may make a rule that cell phones must always be turned off and stored in a purse or glove compartment before driving.

Promise #2: Only Enjoy Movies Outside the Vehicle

More motor vehicles are being equipped with all kinds of entertainment options. Teens may play their favorite flicks on in-vehicle DVD players while driving with friends, but teen drivers may be tempted to mess with the controls. That could pose a great risk to everyone sharing the road with the distracted drivers. It's best to avoid temptation and watch movies at home or the theater.

Promise #3: Always Pull off the Road When Drowsiness Sets In

Nobody should try to drive while drowsy. The National Sleep Foundation declares that sleep deprivation among teens have reached "epidemic proportions". With simultaneous busy schedules and many demands on their time, teenagers may be especially tempted to drive while they're drowsy. Teach your teens the graveness of the danger of driving while drowsy.

Promise #4: Turn on Music Before Starting the Car

Listening to tunes and singing along to a great song are the rights of every drivers, but teens need to focus on enjoying your music in a safe way while on the road. They should always turn on your music before starting the car and choose a playlist that won't bore them along the way. Teens should know that they need to not mess with their music while the car is moving.

Promise #5: Never Eat Fast Food While Driving

Hungry teenagers may see fast food meals as a snack before their real dinner. What teenager hasn't enjoyed scoffing down fries? However, teen drivers need to practice restraint when they get any kind of food in the car. Drivers should never eat while operating a motor vehicle. Make sure teens know to save the food for home or eat it in the parking lot while the car is parked.

Promise #6: Always Get Ready Before Leaving the House

One way that many teenagers distract themselves while driving may seem silly, but they may try primping and preparing themselves for school, a date, or work while driving. All it takes is one second off the road to apply mascara to cause a fatal crash. Make sure your teen promises to get ready at home and look at themselves in the mirror only when the car is at a full and complete stop.

Finally, be sure to have a serious talk with your teenager about the grave seriousness of the situation. One mistake on the road can destroy or completely end a teenager's life or the life of innocent people on the road. By making these promises and understanding the lessons behind them, your teenager may be empowered to make safer choices while driving. For more information on safe driving and accidents and legal issues, contact a firm such as Zavodnick, Perlmutter & Boccia LLC.