What Bad Driving Habits Are You Sending Your Teens?

Parents have a responsibility to teach their children right from wrong. Since children are impressionable from birth through their adult years, you can implement this important tool early on. However, an important part of life’s lesson plans that can get overlooked is imparting your bad driving habits to your teens.


While your local law enforcement officials may not catch you making an illegal turn or changing lanes without signaling, your teen sitting in the back seat can be witness to these infractions. Teen drivers learn proper driving safety etiquette from their parents by observing their everyday activities. Because they’re impressionable early on in life, you need to lay the foundation by setting a good example for your children from the start.

Distracted Driving

The latest technological advances have made it difficult for drivers to stay focused on the task at hand. A simple text, sending an email or answering a phone call can cause you to take your eyes off the roadway for an instant. In that split second, you could fall victim to an accident with injuries or fatalities. If you do this while your teen is in the car, they’ll think that it’s a proper way to conduct their own business when they are able to drive on their own.

Of course current laws already on the books in many states prohibits texting while driving. So parents should make sure they enforce this law by not setting the example of breaking it.  In states like Florida, 2014 will bring at least four more distracted driving bills before the Florida Legislature. Among them will include double fines for texting violations in school zones and designated school crosswalks.

Driving While Intoxicated

Holiday parties may have your calendar packed with a host of events and festivities. However, family gatherings are often centered round alcohol. You may not be aware of this, but your teen is in observation mode wondering how you’ll hand your driving duties after you’ve had a few drinks. If you throw caution to the wind by drinking the night away, you could be in a load of trouble by setting foot behind the steering wheel.

You can show your teen the responsible way to handle drinking and driving by assigning a designated driver to navigate your way home. You can also enlist the help of a cab or limousine service to get everyone safely to their destination. In addition to your actions, you can also explain your reasoning behind the need to take responsibility such as avoiding fines and ensuring the safety of others.

Traffic Violations

Driver’s education courses teach your teens how to go the right speed limit, obey traffic signals and follow the rules of the road at an early age. However, failing to yield or obey signals is a form of negligence that can lead to traffic tickets, fines, accidents and eventually jail time. Since your teen is impressionable, you’ll want to ensure that you adhere to the laws established in your state, especially when your teen is traveling in the same vehicle with you. It can also help to go over the consequences they may face for their misconduct ahead of time.

Unfortunately, a simple text message sent while navigating an open highway can open the door for your teen to do the same. If you want your teens to be a safe driver, you need to set a good example for them by operating your vehicle safely.

Journalist and parent, Nicole Bailey-Covin encourages other parents of teen drivers to be aware of their behavior while behind the wheel.  We can’t tell teens to do as we say and not expect them to also do as we do. It is also important for parents to become familiar with driving laws in their state and make sure to communicate this information to teens. Nicole searched sources like https://www.tampainjurylawyer.com/tampa-car-accidents-attorney/ to stay current on legal driving issues.

Credit Photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/tomhilton/3548088423/troubled teen help