Taming Temperamental Teens
Teens tend to be rash and emotional; hence, it’s a good idea to allow them behind the wheel only after you have taken the steps to instil good driving behaviour in them.
In Zimbabwe, the minimum legal age for acquiring a driving licence is 18. Your adolescent, in all probability, can’t wait to achieve this milestone and get behind the wheel of a car. Unfortunately, teenagers are known for taking risks, which can leave parents biting their nails in despair. Instead of worrying yourself silly every time they take to the wheel, here are some strategies you can employ to steer them in the right direction.
BE A ROLE MODEL
Don’t wait for your child to get his driving licence before inculcating good driving behaviours in him or her. This should start from the time your child is placed in a car seat. A survey by Drive Zimbabwe Roadside Assistance showed that — when it came to seatbelt use, distracted driving (using mobile phones, eating/drinking, grooming, etc), intoxicated driving, and speeding — teens were more likely to report engaging in risky behaviour if they had first witnessed their parents doing so. Similarly, they were more likely to adopt safe habits if their parents mirrored such behaviour
Young children are like sponges, absorbing whatever they see around them. You’d be surprised at how much they learn just from observing you. So be a good role model for them when it comes to driving behaviour.
CHOOSE A SAFE CAR
Don’t let them drive a sports car or convertible — these are not good matches for first-time drivers, as such vehicles don’t allow much room for error. Instead, get a good-sized, safe vehicle with advanced safety technology for your teen to drive, preferably a mid-sized car.
DRIVE DURING THE DAY
When they first start to drive, teens should confine their driving to the day. This is because visibility is lower at night. Also, nighttime driving tends to be for recreational purposes, which could result in irresponsible driving.
Continuing to go on frequent drives with your son or daughter helps you keep an eye on whether they are practising safe driving. If you spot them getting careless about safety measures, you can then put them back on track. Don’t forget to praise them for their right actions as well
NO PASSENGERS ALLOWED
In the initial stages, if your teen needs to drive solo without you riding shotgun, they should avoid taking passengers. This is because having passengers in the car can be distracting, and that may take the driver’s focus off the road, especially when the passengers are pals who enjoy kidding around.
HAVE CLEAR BOUNDARIES
Setting up rules with your teen — helps prevent risky driving behaviour. Rules to include
- how late and how far your teenager can drive
- a promise to always wear a seatbelt
- following traffic rules and avoiding reckless behaviour, such as speeding, running red lights, and improper lane changes
- a commitment never to drive while intoxicated or when feeling drowsy or angry
Reaching the destination safely is the best reward for any motorists! Should you encounter any motoring issues, remember that Drive Zimbabwe Roadside Assistance provides 24/7 Roadside Assistance Service for our Members and the motoring community
Whilst it’s possible to reduce your risk of breakdown, it’s an unfortunate reality that even the most expertly maintained and superbly driven vehicle may break down due to unforeseen circumstances. In these instances, Drive Zimbabwe Roadside Assistance breakdown cover can make all the difference. Call us or Whatsapp at 0780 579 261/0718 084 297 / 0773 232 270 and Join Today