Talking with your child about staying safer on the roads

Agree how as a family you will deal with tricky situations. If your child finds themselves in a situation they’re uncomfortable with (e.g. they’re getting a lift home with a friend who they know has been drinking) it’s important that they can contact you for help at any time of the day (or night). If they’re worried about getting into trouble by doing that, they may not contact you and take a risk knowing that they might get hurt.

The more passengers a new young driver has in the car, the greater the risk of a collision. Limit the number of passengers your child can take in their vehicle especially in the first 6 – 12 months after passing their test.

The risk of a new young driver being involved in a collision is much greater late at night and early in the morning. Agree together some limits on driving during these hours (if they must drive at all).

If they’re going to be out late, they could look at other options like using public transport to get home, you could offer to pick them up or they could perhaps stay over at a friend’s house.

Up to 50% of crashes that happen in the wet involve young drivers so agree with your child that they will slow down in the rain or when the roads are wet (and in other weather conditions like ice and fog).

Think about a black box for your child’s vehicle. Many insurance companies now offer “black boxes” as part of the insurance for young drivers. There are many different types on offer but generally they monitor how the car is being driven and allow you to view this on the insurance company’s website. Find out more here

Fatigue is also a factor in many crashes with young drivers. Agree together that nobody in the family drives when tired especially if a long journey is involved or it’s late at night.

Talk with your child about the speed limits and why they exist. Young male drivers are the most likely group to be involved with a fatal pedestrian crash. Talk about the possible fines and penalties of speeding and the fact that a new driver could lose their licence.

Help your child to get as much practice as possible before their test. This could include you giving them ‘private practice’. Research shows that the risk to newly qualified drivers goes down when they’ve had 120 hours or more on the road practice before their test. Find our more about private practice here

Remember that you’re a role model. How you drive and act in a vehicle will have an impact on your child.



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