When is the best time to go for a drive? Are you or your teen angry? Stressed out? Have a lot on your mind? Feeling aggressive? Tired?
1. Deciding when it’s safe to drive
Teaching teens to assess their own personal state—including whether they are sleepy, feeling angry or upset, have taken any medications or have been drinking—before deciding whether they should go for a drive can minimize the risk of driver error. Discuss these conditions with your teen. Remind them that any kind of impairment affects reaction time and decision making.
Many teens do things they aren’t supposed to, push themselves too hard or end up in drama-filled situations. Getting behind the wheel without being alert, calm and sober is dangerous. However, teens may often see no other option.
2. Have a plan
Make a plan with teens so they know they can call you if they are in no condition to drive a car. It is important to let them know that you are more concerned about them being safe and making the right decision to stay safe, even if good judgment wasn’t used to get them into the situation in the first place.