30 Nov 15
Getting your driver's licence is one the great milestones of adolescence. Parents across the country can remember the day when they no longer had to be dropped off by mum or dad - so not cool - and could now drive themselves to the shops, after-school activities, the movies, you name it.
However, just because your teenager has just received their licence entitling them to drive alone, it doesn't necessarily mean they are ready to do so.
Keeping young drivers safe
After your young driver has done the hard yards getting their hours of driving practice done, they may feel ready to take on the world, but it's still your responsibility to ensure they are ready for the challenges that driving unsupervised may bring.
According to the Victorian government's Transport Accident Commission (TAC), young drivers on a provisional licence, colloquially known as P-Plates, are 30 times more likely to crash1. The TAC's Safer P-Platers website notes that the first six months on a P-Plate are often the most dangerous1.
Nighttime driving is especially hazardous; even if your teen hasn't been drinking alcohol, they could still be sharing the road with others who have been. Remind them of the dangers of night driving and reduced visibility, but make sure they always have another option to get home if they're even the slightest bit hesitant about getting behind the wheel.
Send them out safely onto the road
When your teen driver has the confidence and the skills to take the wheel by themselves, as a parent or guardian, you want to make sure they are safe. This means doing your research before choose the car they will be driving.
Whether you're aiding them with the financial side or merely lending a helping hand over the purchasing process, make sure you steer them towards a CarHistory report. All you need is a car's vehicle identification number, or VIN, and you can pull up a readout of a used car's background.
This can prove to be invaluable in providing you with crucial information, where available, such as written-off status and financial encumbrance - the last thing you or your teen needs is to see money go down the drain should the car be repossessed.
1TAC, Safer P-Platers. Accessed September, 2015