Safe driving tips for teenagers

Updated May 14, 2024  |   Published May 3, 2024

When a teenager in Massachusetts turns 16, they are eligible to obtain a learner’s permit from the Registry of Motor Vehicles. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, teenagers have the highest car accident rates of all eligible age groups. Car accidents are also a leading cause of death for teenagers. With that being said, it’s now more important than ever to teach teenagers about safe, defensive driving.


Basic Driving Safety Tips

The most important part of teaching your teenagers safe, defensive driving, is the safety tips themselves.

Wear your seatbelt at all times.

It’s the law in Massachusetts.

Be aware of the speed limit and ensure you’re driving under it.

When you go too fast, you have less time to react.

  • Use your turn signals early and often so other drivers on the road know what you’re doing.
  • Don’t drink and drive; drinking under the age of 21 is illegal.
  • Focus on the road and the conditions around you.

Avoid distracted driving.

A teenager’s inexperience behind the wheel causes them to be more prone to distracted driving.

  • Don’t use your cell phone while driving.
  • Don’t apply makeup in the car.
  • Avoid having too many passengers in the car at once. If you’re prone to getting distracted easily, consider driving alone for a while.
  • Don’t eat in the car.

Plan ahead.

Before you drive, make sure you’ve planned out your route, so you can avoid looking at the GPS as much as possible.

Leave early so you don’t have to rush.

As mentioned before, driving faster makes you more likely to get into a car accident, because you have less time to react.


Teaching your teen how to drive

Another important step in your teen being able to drive safely is teaching them. Your teenagers will look to you for how to drive safely. Using these safety tips can ensure you’re teaching them well.

Set an example.

Being a safe, defensive driver yourself will help set a healthy example of what good driving is like for your children.

Know the rules of the road.

This way, you can practice them yourself and correct your children when they’re practicing driving.

Make sure your vehicle is safe and in good condition.

Making sure everything that is in your control is safe for your teen can help reduce anxiety and help them concentrate on building defensive driving habits.

Be familiar with the requirements of teaching your teen to drive.

Visit the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles for resources.

Slowly work your way into driving that’s more difficult.

There is no shame in beginning your teen’s driving journey in a place as simple as an empty parking lot. Slowly progress to low traffic areas and avoid driving at night for a while. Driving in higher traffic areas like on the highway, in different weather conditions, and early in the morning/late at night are examples of this.

Talk about driving with your teen.

This can help foster transparency between you and your child and help correct bad habits before they latch on.

There is no such thing as too much practice.

Be consistent and allow your teenager to become confident with driving in different conditions, different traffic levels, and at different times of the day.


After receiving their driver’s license

The role of a parent in their teenager’s driving life does not end when they get their license. If your children live under your roof, it’s a good idea to have some set of boundaries, though that may change over time.

Limit the number of passengers when your child is driving.

Passengers, especially friends, can present a huge distraction for your teenager. There is a six-month waiting period in Massachusetts to have non-family member guests in the car of a newly licensed teen driver, but it’s a good idea to further consider limiting passengers.

Enforce a curfew.

Limit how late your teen is out driving and prevent drowsy driving.

Gradually increase how long you allow your teen to be out for.

This includes the distance from home in which they can drive. This way, they can gradually work up to a “marathon” drive (an hour or two away).

Do not allow distractions in the car.

Such as eating and drinking, using a cell phone, or putting on makeup.

Enforce observance of speed limits to help decrease the risk of an accident.

Many insurance providers have tools that can help you track the speed of your teen from their cell phone, as well as how safely they’re driving.

Do not allow your teen to drink or drive.

This one is self-explanatory.

Ride with your teenager occasionally to monitor their driving skills and habits.

Setting consequences for distracted driving can help set boundaries between you and your teen, and ensure they know that getting their license doesn’t mean “instant freedom”. Let your child know that the reason you set these boundaries is because you care about them and want to make sure they’re safe.


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Looking to switch your car insurance providers? WebFirst works with a variety of carriers to ensure that we provide you with the right coverage for your teen driver at the best possible price. Get a quote today and consider switching to WebFirst Insurance.

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