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What can you do to protect a new teen driver?

It's a dream most teens have: Getting behind the wheel of their new vehicles. Getting a driver's license is a kind of rite of passage to adulthood, but it puts a strain on many parents. It's scary to think that your child will be in a vehicle on his or her own, and there's no question that driving is potentially hazardous.

The good news is that there are things you can do to help your teen stay safe behind the wheel. Driving safely helps dramatically reduce the risk of being involved in a crash. Here are three tips to help.

1. Don't bring along passengers

While your teen might want to pick up passengers for a fun day out, it's dangerous for your teen to travel with anyone else in the vehicle. Younger passengers can become a distraction, which puts them and your teen at risk.

2. Consider an extreme driving course

While it's not required by law, giving your teen the added training in extreme driving could help. Extreme courses might help individuals learn to drive in rainy, snowy, icy or other hazardous conditions. In any case, they help your teen learn what they can, and can't, handle on the roads.

3. Talk about drunk driving and texting

Distractions are a major cause of accidents. Texting, along with impaired driving, both have a potential to lead to fatal crashes. Talk to your teen about what you expect along with the reality of these acts.

Talking to your child early can help protect him or her behind the wheel. A safe driver is less likely to cause, or be involved in, an accident.

Source: Connecticut Parent Overview Guide, "Welcoming Your New Driver," accessed Feb. 28, 2018

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