You’ve worried enough up to this point, but once your teenage son or daughter gets a drivers license it’s a whole new set of things to worry about. Before any young girl or boy starts to drive, they need to know these things to keep them safe.
You’ve likely taught them about predators, but once they start to drive they can become endangered in ways they have not experienced as a child. From where they park to paying more attention to their surroundings – everything counts.
Teach them to never park in a dark area and always pay attention to their surroundings. They should also be taught from the moment you start teaching them to drive to lock their doors as soon as they get in the car and when they exit the car.
Make sure they know to always have their keys in-hand before leaving a store, a friends house or restaurant. One of the easiest ways to become a victim is digging around a purse looking for keys. A great tip my mom taught me is to hold one of the keys with the sharp edge pointed outward through my fingers and hold the keys in a fist.
It makes a great weapon if you need to punch someone and run – much more effective than just their fist or hand. Getting them in the habit of doing this will also ensure they have their keys in hand whenever they walk out a door.
Tell them to ALWAYS trust their instincts. If they feel uneasy, tell them to go back into the store immediately and have a security guard or employee escort them to their car. As a safety precaution, they should also not approach their vehicle if a van is parked next to them. Tell them to wait until the van leaves or get an escort to their car.
Other General Safety Tips
Texting and driving or talking on the phone while driving should also not be allowed. When I taught my sons to drive I made them lock their phones in the glove box or throw it in the backseat before starting the car. Keeping the phone inaccessible will help prevent the urge to answer it or look at messages.
They should also always be aware of how much gas they have in the car and be told to only fill up their tank during daylight hours. No matter where you live, freaky things happen at gas stations all the time and they are a prime spot for criminal activity.
If they feel they are being followed while driving, instruct them to slow down and let the person pass them. If they don’t pass them, they should go to the closest place they can find that has people outside or the nearest police station. If they are close to home they should circle the neighborhood – not pull into their driveway.
They should also not exit their vehicle if the car continues to follow them and is too close for them to get out and go into the location they pulled into. Instead, instruct them to honk their horn and call for help until someone comes out to escort them into the building.