When your teenager gets their license, it can be a proud moment. Your child is likely excited to get behind the wheel on their own and enjoy their freedom. Their excitement may keep them from driving safely, so take a moment to remind them of some important driving tips.

Your teen may think that driving is not a significant risk. Tell them that motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death in teenagers aged 16 to 19. Your child can help keep themselves and others safe by following these tips.

Keep passengers to a minimum

While they may want to pick up all their friends and go somewhere, having too many people in the car is a bad thing. Each person can cause a distraction that takes the driver’s focus off the road for a few seconds. When driving at a mile a minute, each second not looking at the road is the same as driving hundreds of yards blindfolded. Just because a car has five seats does not mean that they all need to be full.

One thing at a time

Using makeup, eating and drinking, or updating the GPS are things that can wait until the vehicle is fully stopped. Doing any of these tasks while driving reduces the driver’s ability to focus. Take a few extra minutes to eat at the fast-food place, put on your makeup before leaving, or set your GPS before getting out of the driveway.

Put the phone away

Cell phones can be as deadly as driving drunk. No phone call or text is worth the risk of killing others or yourself. Keep cell phones out of sight, or even in the glove compartment, if possible. If you need to make an urgent call, pull over at the nearest pitstop instead of the road where someone may hit you or your car.

Safety comes first

When a teen is out on their own with the car, they are responsible for their safety, and the safety of everyone. Please talk with your teen drivers to make sure that they know the right decisions while driving.