Getting Ready to Drive for Pre-Teens
We know your kids are excited to learn to drive, and this can be a good thing for you, too. Use their interest in this topic to have conversations about safety and what the rules will be in your household when they begin to drive. Your driver will need to be a safe passenger, not just in your car, but in every car. This is an area where safety must come first, and it’s never too early to start.
Top Tips for Getting Ready to Drive
- Buckle up, every ride, every time.
- Talk to your kids about passenger safety. We’ll make it easy for you. Check out our Countdown2drive program, which helps you start a conversation to set guidelines for your family.
- Kids are always watching, even when you think they’re not. So be a good example. Eliminate distractions by not using a cell phone or texting while driving. Use your teen or preteen to read maps and help with finding locations.
- Teach your kids to ride with experienced drivers and never get in the car with someone who has been drinking or doing drugs. Parents must decide what “experienced” means.
- Make it a rule that kids younger than 13 ride like a VIP – in the back. This is the safest place for preteens and younger children to sit.
- When carpooling, make sure you have enough seating positions and booster seats for every child in your car and that kids enter and exit curbside. Teach this to your driver-to-be, too.
Belt Fit Test
- The child’s knees should bend at the edge of the seat when his or her back and bottom are against the vehicle seat back;
- The vehicle lap belt should fit across the upper thighs; and
- The shoulder belt should fit across the shoulder and chest. Children are usually between 8 and 12 years old when the seat belt fits them properly.