If you're the parent of a teen driver with a new car, you'd probably do just about anything to relieve the worry. Fortunately, with a little proactive planning, your sleepless nights can become a thing of the past. From keeping your child safe all the way to ensuring their new ride doesn't end up in the auto repair shop, here are three awesome tips for parents and teens alike.
Maintain a service schedule log. A regularly maintained car is less likely to end up in the auto repair shop. It also makes sense that neglected vehicles will not only be in need of more repairs, but their overall resale value can become negatively affected.
A recent study by the Car Care Council conducted routine car inspections and found that 84% of all vehicles were in need of attention in the form of service or parts replacement. But this doesn't need to happen to your teen driver. Here's how you can help.
Consult the car's manual for advice, and keep a written log of everything that needs to be done on a regular basis inside your teen's car, having them check off the list as they get things done. If they have a smart phone, suggest they put maintenance reminders in their calendar, or have them use an app. Some allow you to enter the make and model of your vehicle so it can send reminders when you're due for an oil change or other service.
Make sure to let your child know you'll be regularly checking that log to see that the maintenance is getting done. Now your teenager won't have any excuses for neglecting any routine maintenance.
Limit driving privileges. If your teen driver is newly licensed, you may want to consider placing a limit on a number of privileges, like how many friends they can have in the car with them and how late they can drive. Many states implement laws that restrict this, with some not allowing any other teens in the car until they reach a certain driving "level." Other states don't allow teens to drive after eight or nine o'clock at night until they reach a certain age.
Be sure to familiarize yourself with the laws in your state, keeping in mind that most fatal accidents occur when other teens are in the vehicle, and those numbers increase four-fold with night driving. Your teen is at much greater risk during the first few months of licensure, so this is a time to keep a watchful eye. Also remind them to always wear their seat belt, as this decreases their risk of fatality dramatically, should they get in an accident.
Install a monitoring device. Over the last few years, many advances have been made, including the ability to monitor your teen's driving. Imagine being able to see how fast your son is driving, or know if your daughter is showing off to her buddies by hitting the brakes haphazardly. Well, now it's possible.
The devices all work slightly differently, but overall they allow the parents to log into a website and enter some information to set a maximum speed on the vehicle, show the car's location and speed, and receive alerts for things like speeding, low battery, or when the car is being towed. Other programs will disengage the audio if a seat belt is unbuckled, as well as set up a feature that blocks calls and text messages from coming through.
Let your child know you'll be watching how they drive. Teens that are aware of parental monitoring are less likely to drive recklessly, leaving you more confident about their overall safety and resulting in fewer car repairs.
If your teen does get into an accident, contact an auto repair shop like Central Body Co Inc.