Getting your driver’s license is such an exciting accomplishment, but it can be easy for your teen to forget the driver safety tips they had learned. After passing their driver’s test, they may be eager to get behind the wheel and finally drive on their own. While you may be equally as eager that you don’t have to drive them around anymore, it is important to make sure that they stay familiar with safe driving habits. Auto accidents are one of the leading causes of death for American teenagers. Keep these driver safety tips in mind when your teen gets behind the wheel.

Safety Tip 1: After you get your license, still continue to practice.

Passing a driving test requires numerous hours of practice. During this time, you’re there with your teen, preparing them for the realities of the road. It’s good to continue practicing even after the new driver gets their license. Make sure they are familiar with the vehicle they will be driving and help them identify different traffic laws and driving procedures. Getting extra practice is also a great way for your teen to get exposure to different scenarios on the road. You can prepare your teen for drivers that may weave in and out of traffic, stop abruptly, or run a red light by creating safe driving habits in the very beginning.

Safety Tip 2: Keep the phone out of reach.

Most people won’t leave their house without their cell phone, but can you blame them? The innovation of cell phones allows us to easily navigate through our day to day lives. When it comes to your teen getting behind the wheel, however, having a cell phone nearby can risk their safety and the safety of others on the road. In fact, texting and driving has become such a growing issue that Florida Statutes allows law enforcement to issue citations to any motorists that are texting and driving. A great safety habit to instill in your teen is to keep their phone somewhere they can’t see it or hear it. Everything on the road could change in even just the 5 seconds it takes your teen to view an incoming text or notification. 

A great way to encourage your teen to practice this safety tip is to enforce this habit on yourself as well. Set a good example for your new driver and keep your phone tucked away in your bag or in the glove department. 

Safety Tip 3: Limit the amount of passengers at first.

With more people comes more distractions. Limiting your teens passengers to only 1 or 2 people at first can help maintain their focus. Encourage them to minimize distractions by turning down loud music and saving any emotional conversations for when they’re not driving. The CDC states that the risk of teen drivers crashing increases with each additional passenger in the car. The fatal crash rate (per mile driven) for teen drivers is almost three times higher than drivers aged 20 and older. If your teen is planning to have passengers, make sure they are practicing safe driving habits and encourage them to minimize their driving distance.

Safety Tip 4: Always wear a seat belt.

In the state of Florida, it is illegal to not wear a seat belt, and there is great evidence to prove why. The CDC reported that 48% of teens who died in a car accident were not wearing a seatbelt. Wearing a seatbelt reduces the chance of a fatal car accident and decreases your risk of injury by almost 50%. A great way to make this safety tip a habit is by waiting to start the car until everyone is buckled.

Having these safety tips in mind can help prepare your teen for the challenges of driving on their own. Check out the top 10 accident locations in Florida to stay knowledgeable on which roads are the busiest and most accident prone in the state.