The sweet sixteen birthday comes with a bittersweet aftertaste for parents. Your little one isn’t so little anymore, and oh, the places they’ll go! Now you have to watch them driving off into the sunset only to return an hour past curfew. With their wide eyes, excitement, and enthusiastic social media posts it’s no wonder why insurance companies charge more for young drivers.
Once they get the keys they are off and you just have to trust that you’ve instilled enough safety lessons to keep them out of harm’s way, but thankfully in the digital age there’s more than prayer to give you peace of mind.
Helpful Phone Gadgets
With all of the fun family activities to do during the fall, don’t forget to go shopping for driving safety gadgets. Make safety fun by letting your teen get what fits their style while at the same time helping them be better drivers.
With everything that is designed to distract us from the road, it’s a comfort to know that there are just as many things designed to keep us safe while on it.
When you’re the parent of a teen you’re less scared of strange noises in the night than you are of what’s happening on your teen’s social pages and text chats.
Cell phones are the number one contributor when it comes to distracted driving, so keep your teen’s hands-free by getting them a wireless car charger and mount. Cheap mounts are a waste of money and can become more of a hazard if your teen’s phone is constantly falling.
If you’ve bought a mount that doesn’t allow space for your charger or that constantly surprises you with mic drops that mean you may have been too cheap with your buying power.
Charge While You Go
Mounts are a simple device to have when it comes to being a safer driver, and there are some models that take being helpful one step farther by having chargers built-in. Having a mount that also charges your phone keeps you from having to manage tangled cords while attempting to switch gears.
A couple of mounts that offer the best bang for your buck when it comes to this device are:
- Automatic Clamping Wireless Phone Holder from Latest Elite priced at $34.97
- Mophie Charge Stream Vent Mount from Zagg priced at $49.95
Cell phones do practically everything nowadays so instead of investing in fancy car navigation systems, save the hassle and money by getting a secure mount that will hold a cell phone and help your new driver to keep their eyes on the road.
Keeping an Extra Eye Out
Your teen’s newfound freedom can cause a lot of stress for you so sleep easy by getting a Spy Tec Vehicle GPS Tracker. There are various kinds of trackers these days, and though you shouldn’t allow the technology to turn you into a helicopter parent, having your teen’s location is a helpful tool in case of an emergency.
The installation of these devices is simple, and you can purchase a quality one for under $100. For so much peace of mind that comes with this device, you’ll be just waiting for your teen to break all the rules.
Emergencies Made Easy
No matter how old you get there are just too many things that can happen on the road to not be prepared. Neglecting the maintenance of different parts of a car for too long can have you stranded in the rain regretting not paying attention to those pretty lights on the dashboard.
Show your teen that big problems usually accumulate when a bunch of small things has not been taken care of by teaching them the responsibility of being a driver.
There’s more to being a safe driver than simply turning on your blinker when changing lanes, and most of those responsibilities begin before your teen ever starts driving on the road.
Flat Tires Don’t Get Likes
The importance of a portable tire inflator will depend much on where you live, but if you’re in a city with harsh seasons of weather, this is a must-have. Teach your teen about air pressure, proper tire care, and how to change one just in case they get a flat.
Slippery roads and dicey turns await the day poor tires hit their pavement, and the last thing you want is your teen to lose control behind the wheel.
A portable tire inflator usually will have settings that allow you to preset the right amount of air pressure that needs to go into your tires, eliminating the worry of putting too much or too little pressure. They are relatively small and are easy to store out of the way.
The price range varies, but the standard inflators can usually be bought between $30-$100.
Blind Spots can Kill
What you don’t see can literally kill you. Even the most responsible teenager can’t help what they don’t see. Save your teen from accidents by getting Amper Blind Spot Mirrors.
These are found on Amazon and other online stores for only $8, and they are used as a simple way to broaden your view. They are easy to install, and you can have your teen place them where they feel the most comfortable.
First Cars Tend to Lead to First Tickets
Road Angel Gem is a handy device you can set up right on the dashcam with the main purpose being to tell you the speed limit. Road Angel Cam offers a full package that warns drivers of speed traps and crossroads prone to accidents.
Of course, this and devices alike are ideal for keeping your teen out of the courtroom, and a dashcam is a great idea if your teen plans on using their car as a work vehicle or drive for a rideshare company. Dashcams help to show proof of fault in the case of an accident.
Confident Driving Is Safe Driving
As excited as your teen is, they are also probably nervous at getting on the road. It may have been some time ago for some parents to remember, but keep in mind the pressure that is present for your teen, too.
Having to tell your parents that you’ve utterly failed at your first major adult responsibility isn’t fun for the child either. Ease both their nerves and yours by getting them the proper tools to be successful on the road.
Last but not least, remember that the actual car you let your teen drive is something to seriously think about. All of these tools are great, but you can get even more security by starting with a better foundation.
The safest rated cars as of 2019 and 2020 include:
- Mazda CX-3 SUV
- Subaru Forester SUV
- Volvo S60
- Hyundai Nexo
- Kia Sorento
- Kia Telluride
- Kia Sportage
- Honda Civic Coupe & Hatchback
- Honda Insight
- Ford Edge
- Chevrolet Equinox
- Nissan Maxima
- Subaru Legacy
- Toyota Corolla sedan
- Toyota Camry
Teach your new driver how to safely drive on the road, purchase a couple of useful accessories, make sure they have the best car to drive. It may be scary to let them go, but you will feel better knowing that you did all you could to make sure your teen stays safe behind the wheel.
This content is brought to you by Danielle Beck-Hunter.