"Don't get behind the wheel with anyone who has been drinking."
"Don't get distracted behind the wheel."
We parents are full of advice when it comes to teaching our teens how to drive. But how much of that advice do we actually follow ourselves?
It should come as no surprise that studies show that teenaged drivers do what their parents do, not necessarily what they say to do behind the wheel. You may think they're not paying attention when you run that stop sign or drive over the speed limit when you're late - but trust me, they are watching. So it may be time to take a closer look at your own driving.
Are you breaking these three driver's safety rules? If so, it's a good bet that your kids will too.
1. Drinking and driving.
We are constantly telling kids not to drink and drive and not to get behind the wheel with anyone who has been drinking. But how many times have you and your spouse had a drink with dinner and then hopped behind the wheel? Or shared a bottle of wine at a restaurant and then driven home? If you want your kids to get serious about the message that drinking and driving don't mix, you need to practice what you preach. Skip the wine with dinner or take turns with your significant other being the designated driver.
2. Distracted driving.
Texting, making phone calls, eating, settling back seat arguments - there are lots of things that can distract you while you're driving. If you want your teen to learn how to tune out distractions, you need to practice doing it yourself. That means turning your phone off or handing it over someone else while you're driving. It also means bypassing the fast food stops that leave you juggling a burger, a drink, and the wheel. And take a break from back seat reffing duties - at least until you get safely to your destination.
If you've got a lead foot, there is no better time to tame it than when you have a new driver with you in the car. Teens don't need any extra temptation to push the limit when it comes to speed and if they see you regularly going 5 or 10 over the limit, they are sure to bump that up even more.
Related posts on MNN:
- Texting and driving: Study explains why you can't do two things at once
- The Inventioneers: 6 teens invent way to stop dangerous texting while driving
- 90 % of parents multitask while driving