Which talk with your adolescent kids are you looking forward to the least? Is it the sex talk, the drugs talk, the choose your friends carefully talk, or perhaps, the be careful about oversharing on social media talk?
Here’s one you might want to add to the top of the list: the everything you need to know about driving talk.
The great thing about this subject is that it is not just one, awkward lecture. It is an opportunity to share life lessons on a variety of related subjects, over the course of a lifetime, or at least, the course of time a child listens to a parent. Fortunately, that still gives you plenty of time to make a real impact.
What makes this conversation different than the others is that, if you do it right, you will always have your child’s undivided attention. That is because they really want to drive. From an early age, they imagine themselves behind the wheel. Anything they can do to get there faster, they will be happy to do.
It also means that you can start their training years before they start putting the pedal to the metal. While the mechanics of driving are relatively easy to pass on, the real lessons take a while to convey, and are often overlooked. Here are a few of the lessons every parent should teach their child about driving:
Driving Is a Privilege of the Socially Responsible
No child starts out life being responsible or considerate of others. There is nothing in the universe more aggressively solipsistic than a baby. They have to be taught about the existence of others, and why they matter. Children who should be old enough to know better, run around in department stores, smashing headlong into unsuspecting shoppers. The kids never consider the presence of other humans, or how their actions effect others.
They don’t just grow out of it. They have to be taught. You have to teach them. It’s difficult. Auto insurance is all about social responsibility. Insurance is not required by law for your protection, but for the protection of others. Once you demonstrate a lack of social responsibility, you have to go through extra measures to regain civic trust. In the US, that is where SR22 insurance comes in. According to Acceptance Insurance:
An SR22 policy is technically a document proving the responsibility of the policyholder. If you meet certain conditions, you will be required to carry this proof with you whenever you drive until your SR22 status has been removed.
Those referenced conditions include:
- Being caught driving without insurance
- Driving under the influence
- Receiving too many traffic tickets in too short a time
A person who drives with the welfare of others in mind should be able to avoid dealing with SR22 insurance. In other words, if you prove your social responsibility before you start driving, you probably won’t have to prove it afterwards.
Driving Is a Privilege of the Sober
Sobriety has as much to do with the kind of life you live, as much as it does, your blood/alcohol level at any given moment. Lack of sobriety is by far, the #1 cause of traffic accidents. There are the objective statistics that deal with the influence of drugs and alcohol. Then there are the accidents that happen simply because the driver didn’t take it seriously enough. Teens and young adults tend to die from both. It is not just that the judgement of young people is poor. But that they enter the act of driving without taking it seriously enough.
Driving Is a Privilege, Period
Kids grow up thinking they have the right to drive once they come of age. Their wrong. No one has the right to drive. It is a privilege granted by the state. The state does not care how much you want to drive, or need to drive. They are uninterested in the requirements of your job, or your need to be free. They license only the drivers they deem fit, and can unlicense them just as easily.
Unless your kids want to become well acquainted with the local bus service, taxi service, or walking paths, they have to learn that driving is a privilege granted only to the serious-minded, socially responsible person. It is never too early to start teaching these lessons.