Talking to Your Kids About Common and Fatal Mistakes That Teen Drivers Make

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Learning to drive is a major milestone for teens, one of the first significant steps into maturity and adulthood. Driving gives a sense of freedom and independence, no longer being tied down to a particular neighborhood. The barrier of distance has been broken down; the endless possibilities of exploration now lay wide open. Of course, this freedom comes with heavy responsibilities. Some teens are sadly unable to handle these responsibilities at such a young age and fall into unsafe practices on the road, endangering both themselves and those around them. Be sure to talk to your kids about these driving mistakes and how to avoid them.

Bringing up this subject is often difficult for parents. You may feel like your kids aren’t listening, view you as uncool, or fail to take the conversation seriously. In spite of all this, it is important to have this conversation. Try to avoid staging the situation as much as possible. Bring up the topic in a candid manner, possibly over dinner or while watching TV. Don’t rehearse a speech for your kids; this will come across as fake and won’t be taken seriously. Speak frankly and sincerely. Engage your kids by making them active in the conversation. This will help you make a deeper connection.

Talk about the dangers of drunk driving. This is among the most serious dangers for drivers on the road. Driving under the influence can easily get a young driver arrested, and that is among the least severe consequences. Drunk drivers are all too often killed in accidents, as are other drivers, passengers and innocent bystanders. Be sure that your kids understand these risks and are responsible enough to avoid driving under the influence. Try not to use scare tactics or rattle off statistics. Speak from experience; bring up situations you or those you know were involved in which brought on the consequences of driving under the influence.

The hazards of the road do not by any means end with drunk driving. Kids today are practically glued to their cell phones, and this can become a major problem for young drivers. Talking on the phone while driving has been proven to reduce drivers’ reaction time and increase the likelihood of getting into serious accidents. Texting while driving amplifies this risk even further. This should be a big part of your conversation, as using cell phones while driving is probably the most common unsafe practice that drivers both young and old fall into.

One of the best ways to get young drivers to understand the responsibility they’re now taking on is to get them involved financially. Have your kids look at insurance rates on websites like and even have them pitch in on insurance payments if they’re currently working. This helps young drivers to understand that driving isn’t all fun and games–it makes the responsibility more real. At the very least, your kids should keep gas in the tank whenever they’re driving. They may complain, but it will be good for them in the long run.


  1. I dread the day my teen starts driving! Insurance costs can be staggering for teens and you definitely need to shop around!

  2. Thanks for sharing these with us!

  3. Thanks for sharing these tips with us.

  4. THanks for sharing these. Teens can be pretty careless.

  5. Thanks for sharing the these tips. Teens can be pretty careless.

  6. Thanks for sharing. Teens can get pretty careless when they are with friends.

  7. This is a great thing to bring up…I really get nervous any time an immediate or extended family member starts driving. I think we take it for granted but this is a really dangerous stage of life. I’m not the kind of guy that spends much time worrying, but driving in general is much more dangerous than people realize

  8. This is such a great idea. Thanks for sharing!

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