As teens go back to school this fall, many will transition from riding a school bus to driving themselves. However, passing a driver’s test alone does give a young driver enough experience to fully handle all the driving hazards on our roads today.

Motor vehicle crashes are the #1 cause of death for teens. Take some extra steps to ensure the safety of your teen and the other drivers.

  1. Ban cell phone use while driving. There are many discussions about this across the web and it is illegal. Your teen can sign a pledge and you can download apps that prevent phone usage while the car is in motion. However, it is important to remember to lead by example in this case. Show your teen that driving is not a time to multi-task by putting your own phone away while driving.
  2. Make seat belts mandatory. It is the law after all.
  3. Extend the time your teen holds a learner’s permit. Spend more learning time with your child driving. This allows your teen to encounter different driving experiences with you there to guide him/her.
  4. Set a nighttime driving restriction. Most fatal accidents happen at night. Set a driving curfew.
  5. Set a passenger restriction. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that one passenger increases a teen’s accident risk by 48 percent and the risk grows dramatically by each passenger added. Determine how many (if any) passengers our teen can handle and set limits.
  6. Set a no tolerance policy on alcohol. Again, this is the law. Your teen has likely been taught not to drink and drive, but it is an important discussion to have prior to driving.
  7. Consider formal training. There are many agencies in the Las Vegas valley that offer formal training for teen drivers. This is an important activity that is often second nature to experienced drivers. A professional instructor likely has techniques, tips and advice that a mother or father forgets to pass on.

The right to drive is an important time in a teenager’s life. Follow the steps above to ensure it is a safe time.

Don’t get mad, get legal!