Tips for Teaching Children Responsibility with Automobiles

Getting behind the wheel of a car is a major milestone for teens and one that comes with enormous responsibility. You may have heard of Ethan Couch and his absolutely shocking lack of responsibility. Don’t deprive your kids the chance at learning responsibility early. These eight tips will help you teach your kids to be responsible children with automobiles – both as drivers and as vehicle owners.

Inform your child of the importance of vehicle maintenance.

Vehicles need regular up-keep and eventually need repairs, as well. Your teen should be taught how to properly maintain their vehicle, including getting an oil change, checking fluids, tire pressure, etc. They also need to be aware of any red flags, such as changes in how the car drives or sounds.

Have your teen pay for their own gas.

A majority of young new drivers don’t realize that driving comes at a relatively high cost. Teach your child some financial responsibility by having them fill up their own gas tank instead of handing them money every time they want to use the car.

Teach your teen about car insurance.

Teen drivers should be made aware of auto insurance laws, required documentation, and cost. If you choose to give your child the responsibility of paying for their own insurance, make sure it’s being paid every month, ask to see up-to-date documentation, and check that all necessary paperwork is being kept in the glove compartment of their vehicle.

Make sure your child knows what to do in the event of an accident.

Accidents happen and, when they do, your teen should know how to handle the situation. Explain the steps involved, including pulling over to a safe spot, calling the police, and exchanging insurance information with the driver of the vehicle.

Be a passenger while they drive.

This allows you to analyze their driving and decide what, if any, bad habits they need to break and what they should be doing differently. You also have the opportunity to communicate your trust in your child as a driver, which is equally important to the shaping of their driving behavior.

Let Your Teen Drive New and Challenging Routes

Valley driving school in Delta, B.C. recommends that drivers build experience in planning routes, driving in unfamiliar locations, and self-navigating. These trips build the sense of responsibility that a teen has, and greatly reduces the likely hood of an accident occurring.

Have a talk with your teen about driving safely with passengers in the car.

Driving someone around means you are holding a person’s life in your hands. This should not be taken lightly. Explain the importance of driving safely when passengers are in the car. Also, explain that passengers can pose a distraction so they should limit the number of passengers allowed in their car at once.

Make your teen responsible for paying tickets.

Every driver must obey the rules of the road or pay the price. Hold your teen accountable for their own actions. Maybe a ticket won’t be necessary for them to learn, but it sure helps if they know that they’ll be on the hook financially if they get a ticket.

Responsibility has a way of helping kids behave better. They feel a sense of accountability for their actions and that helps them behave more like adults!

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