We all remember the freedom that our driver’s license gave us when we were young. Getting behind the wheel is one of the most important rites of passage for high schoolers. It is also one of the most dangerous things your adolescent child can do.

Now that your child is almost an adult, it’s time for them to start driving around on their own. How can you keep your teenager safe on the road?

Teens are more at-risk for accidents than any other age group

Drivers between 16 and 19 years old are almost three times more likely to die in a car crash than drivers 20 and older. There are numerous factors that increase the danger:

  • Young drivers have less experience on the road
  • Teenagers wear seatbelts less frequently
  • Drinking and driving may affect adolescents more
  • Sleep deprivation—young people need more rest than adults
  • The more teens that are in a car driven by a teenager, the higher the chance of an accident
  • Teens are more likely to speed and tailgate other drivers than adults

All of these risks combine to make driving the number one cause of death for teenagers. To give yourself some peace of mind with your young driver, you should reduce the risk as much as possible.

What should you do to help your teen?

You can’t be in the car every time your teenager drives, but you can prepare them for the dangers of the road. You should try:

  • Setting a good example—wear your seat belt, don’t text and drive sober
  • Making sure that your teen has enough practice with you before driving on their own
  • Teaching them about Kentucky laws on driving times and passengers for new drivers
  • Encouraging better sleep patterns to prevent drowsy driving
  • Educating them on safe following distances

Your teenager may enjoy driving around without supervision. But freedom for them might mean anxiety for you. Teaching your teen the rules of the road might help keep you sane, and more importantly, help keep them safe.