Getting Your Teen Driver Ready in Minnesota

If your teen is nearing the driving age and showing a lot of interest in learning how to drive, then you’ll need to make sure that your son or daughter is prepared for the teen laws and restrictions that come hand-in-hand with driving privileges. That means that you, as the parent, also need to take time to educate yourself about the strict laws that surround teenage drivers. Knowing these laws will not only help keep your teen out of trouble so that he or she avoids fines and driving restrictions, but it will also help keep your teen driver safe from unwanted harm.

Why Teenage Drivers Can Be Unsafe

After all, the second leading cause of death for teens in Minnesota is traffic crashes. (The leading cause of death in teens in Minnesota is suicide). The annual death toll for teen drivers ages 16 to 19  is over 30 each year.  If you think about it, teens present a risk to both themselves and everybody else within their vicinity on the Minnesota roadways because teens lack the necessary experience to know how to handle tricky driving situations.

However, it’s not just teenage inexperience that causes so many teen deaths in traffic accidents yearly. Another problem is that many teens simply don’t want to use seat belts. In fact, as a category of people, teens have the lowest usage rate for seat belts when compared to all other age groups. So along with making sure your teenager knows the mandatory driving laws and requirements before hitting the road, you should also ensure that your teen remembers to use a seat belt every time he or she drives or rides in a car.

Parental Responsibility Choices

Teaching your teenager how to drive and obey the necessary laws while in a vehicle takes ample amounts of time and is a big commitment for many parents of teenage drivers. However, even after you’ve coached your teen to the point of passing the necessary driving tests so that your teen earns his or her driver’s license, remember that educating your teen about the rules of the road doesn’t end once he or she gets that important license. Honestly, it’s a mistake to think that your teenager is ready to drive just because your teen earned his or her driver’s license. There will be many instances that follow where your teen should not be driving alone, like when he or she is dealing with snow. It is the responsibility of parents to make sure they prepare their teenager drivers for all types of driving scenarios before allowing the teen to drive often without supervision.

Supplemental Parental Curriculum

To help parents of teenage drivers better prepare their teens for the dangers of daily driving, Minnesota’s driver education providers now offer a “Supplemental Parental Curriculum” which is available to any parent or guardian of a teen who is open to learning the curriculum. The Supplemental Parental Curriculum program came into effect on January 1, 2015 and offers parents the chance to receive education about how they can better prepare their teen drivers while the parents are in the presence of a driver education instructor. Topics covered by the Supplemental Parental Curriculum program include graduated driver licensing, the safety risks created by teen drivers, how adults can influence teenage drivers’ behaviors, and other additional resources. If you’d like to see some of the additional resources available to you, you can check out the materials here.

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