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4 Rules To Establish When Your Teen Gets Their First Car

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There are plenty of things to teach your teen in your quest to help them grow up to be the most ambitious, mature, and sensible person ever. However, teens will be teens, and they are prone to making stupid mistakes that they will definitely learn from the first time. Once they reach a certain age, teens crave a car for some independence and to help them get around without your help. A car is an excellent gift for their sixteenth birthday, but you’ll need to establish some essential rules before you hand over the keys. 

No Phones

Distractions are one of the biggest causes of collisions with anyone (not just teens) behind the wheel. Because of this, you must help your kids realize they should not play on their phones. They can use their smartphone for music and navigation, but answering calls or responding to messages is a no-go. It only takes one lapse in concentration to cause a car crash that could lead to severe injury and an expensive repair for your teen’s vehicle, which they probably can’t afford. 

Do Not Drink And Drive 

Similarly, drinking and driving is another non-negotiable rule. Since the legal drinking age is much higher in the U.S. than in other nations, you should feel moderately confident. However, teens always find a way to consume alcohol, especially under peer pressure. You can highlight the effects of BAC on driving ability and show how this could ruin their lives in more ways than one. Not only does it increase the chances of a collision, but it could also land them in significant legal trouble if they are found driving over the limit. 

Learn the Basics 

Besides teaching your teens about driving safely, you should teach them fundamental car maintenance and other basics to make sure they know what to do in case the car breaks down and they are in the middle of nowhere. Teach them how to change a tire, replace the oil, and top up screen wash. You can gift them a kit full of everything they might need in case of a breakdown so they can overcome the issue and get back on the road.

Pay For Your Own Gas 

Filling the car up is one of those things you expect them to pay for, although you’ll get some resistance. Since you brought the car (and likely pay for insurance for now) it’s the least your teen can do to help with running costs. They will be using the car more than anyone else, so this teaches them some responsibility and also shows them that gas is finite. If they want to take a road trip, they’ll need to fill up frequently, so they best be able to afford it. 

Safe Travels 

Every parent wants to give their child all the tools possible to become more independent, but there will always be that part of you that needs to care for them and make sure they are safe. While you’re happy to let them take the wheel, you also want assurances they won’t mess around and put themselves (and others) in danger. These rules set expectations early and ensure they know how to act when driving.

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