Security Tips to Guarantee Your Kids Safety While Driving

 

pasted_image_1Photo Credit: Alex Radelich

If you are the parent of a teenager, you know the fear and worry that comes with them driving the car. It is almost like the DMV hands them their license and you a box of things to worry about for the next couple of years. You are not alone. We will share some security tips that will keep your teen safe while on the road.

It began at birth

This is not a judgment, it is an observation. Many parents believe their children should always be happy. We love them so much that we do not want to see them hurt in any way. As toddlers we told our children no. Do not put playdough in the DVD player. Do not sit in the clothes dryer: it is not a cave. Do not hit your sister or bite the dog. But when they did these things there were no consequences for their actions, They may be scolded, but most of the time, that was the end of their punishment. If someone else (another toddler) was involved in the bad behavior, we silently blamed that child, and if the other child was at fault, why should you little angel have to pay for the crime?  Why are we bringing this up? Because if your child has become a young adult and has never been taught that with privilege comes responsibility and consequences; they are about to turn your (and their) world upside-down.

One thing every parent should know

When you are about to hand the car keys to your teen, you will do so while stating a list of rules. It goes something like this:

  • Go straight there and nowhere else.
  • Text me when you get there so I know you made it ok.
  • Don’t take anyone with you.
  • Wear your seatbelt.
  • Don’t speed

The list will be much longer, but you get the idea.

If you have a child who understands the consequences of disobeying the rules, (which should include not driving again for a long while,) they will probably do these things for a while. If however, your child was the one who was always getting away with tantrums, disobeying the rules, and never doing what they were told. They are going to begin breaking the rules as soon as they pull out of site. They will not break all of them. But they will push the limits. They will drive by and show their friends their new ride. They will probably take some friends along for the ride. They will wear their seatbelt because the beeping noise messes up the music blaring from the stereo. At some point and time they will text you that they are where they were supposed to be going. So you will feel calmer as they speed down the road to the mall.
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Tips on keeping your kids safe

You are going to have to be a little sneaky to ensure your child is safe. You will not like it, but it is important to do. Here are some security tips that will help you.

  • There are apps that are specifically made for these situation. One of our favorites is MamaBear. When MamaBear is activated, you are notified when your teen s driving over the speed limit. It has a real time GPS system, so you can know exactly where they are at any given time. If your teen refuses to call you back or if they turn off their phone so you cannot call them, you can disable their phone so that it will only call you or their other parent. Teen Safe is another good app. It tracks social media usage and texting. Perhaps your teen is supposed to be at the library, but you get an alert that they just posted a picture on Instagram or Facebook. You can log-on and you see they are having a great time at a party. Whether you want to tell your teens that you have these apps or not, is up to you. But, if you want to make a point; show up at the party and walk your kid to the car. It is an experience they will never forget.
  • Before they leave the house you should have a procedure you go through. At first, watch them to make sure they are doing them. After that just watch from a distance. The procedure should go something like this.

◊ Make sure the cell phone and cell phone charger is in the car

◊ Check the gasoline (keeping the gauge above ½ a tank is a good rule)

◊ Make sure the tires are inflated and not low on air

◊ Keep a $25 or $50 prepaid credit card in the car for emergencies

◊ When they get in the car make sure they adjust all of the mirrors

◊ They cannot pull away from the drive until their seatbelt is fastened.

◊ Make sure they have their license, proof of insurance, and registration in the car and where it is.

  • Check them and recheck them often.

◊ Anyone can remember facts long enough to take a drivers test. This website gives really great information for all drivers. A new driver who probably does not know all of the laws or the consequences of breaking them should review this site often.

Eventually, your teen will know that this is serious. They may have to be punished a few times, but they will get it. You are not trying to keep them from having fun. You are trying to keep them alive and safe. Love them enough to hold on tight until they are ready to go it alone.

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Photo credit: Corey Motta

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About Pepper

I am a single working mom, trying to raise my kid the best way I know how. Join me as I navigate my way through the jungle that is Single Mom-hood, armed with rose-colored glasses and strength of spirit. As pepper adds spice to food, so does my daughter add spice to my life. She makes life no less than…PEPPERRIFIC!

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