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Parents play big role in keeping teens safe behind the wheel

Teens are bad drivers, right? They text behind the wheel, speed to impress their friends and barely pay attention. Or so the stereotype says. But parents can help their teens rise above the stereotype and stay safe while driving. Here are two important ways to do that:

Insist on total focus. Insist that your teen ignore their phone and any incoming messages while driving. (There are even apps that can help you make sure your teens aren’t texting or talking while driving.) When driving with a teen, teach them to keep an eye out for distractions, like a mattress flying out the back of a pickup truck. Yes, it happens! On the road, a lot can go wrong, so paying constant attention to the task at hand is key to reaching your destination safely.

Teach the 3 to 4-second rule.  Make sure your teen knows to stay 3 to 4 seconds behind the car in front of them. Since the greatest chance of a collision is in front of you, this is an important one. Following at a safe distance allows your teen ample time to respond. But don’t forget: In slick, foggy or nighttime conditions, add a couple extra seconds to this general rule to stay safe.

For more tips for staying safe behind the wheel, check out this article.