Five tips for talking about road safety with young drivers

Start your young driver off on the right foot with these quick safety tips

If you are a parent of a teen who has just passed their G1 or G2 test, then you have experienced first-hand, the eagerness these young drivers have to get behind the wheel. And not just any wheel - your wheel. With so many place to go, and so many people to see, it's natural that your teen driver is anxious to begin exploring their newfound mobility. As with any new increase in responsibility, it can take some time to feel at ease with this new role – as both a young driver, and as the parent of a young driver. Before your teen hits the road, follow these five tips to ensure a safe and successful experience for both you, and your new driver.

 

1. Provide a safe vehicle

As the saying goes – a worker is only as good as his tools. Set your young driver up for success by providing a safe vehicle for them to navigate the streets in. With all the newfound driving knowledge whirling in their mind, the last thing a new driver needs to be concerned with is the blinking service light on the dash. Alleviate any stress in advance by ensuring the family car has been safely maintained. We’re talking tire pressure, oils and lubricants, break pads – you name it. Not sure what may or may not need a little TLC on your car? Check out our seasonal vehicle maintenance blog for a helpful checklist.

2. Flag any dangerous intersections

We all know that one intersection that is known for being especially tricky to navigate. Be it an advanced light, a slightly hidden stop sign, or some other unexpected feature – experienced drivers know to anticipate trouble, but a new driver may not be as aware. Give your young driver a run-down of all the safest routes in your community, and your best excuses to take a slight detour around your least favourite spots. Not only will your young driver know all the best routes (from a pro driver, such as yourself), but they’ll also know what things to look at for when approaching new intersections. After all, being prepared is half the battle.

3. Help your young driver stay consistent

All those practical lessons in driving school can quickly become a distant memory, as can the theory learnt in the driver’s handbook. As days go by, it’s natural to become more comfortable on the roads and begin developing bad habits along the way. Help your young driver keep their newfound safe driving knowledge fresh in their mind with the Onlia Sense safe driving app.

For a new driver who’s used to having a parent, guardian, or driving instructor in the passenger seat – the Onlia Sense app is the next best thing. Score trips based on factors such as acceleration, braking, cornering, speed, and the day and time that you’re driving. Use in-app insights to help maintain or develop driving technique. As a parent, there’s an added bonus of also understanding if and when your teen driver is distracted driving. The best part? For continued safe driving behaviour over time, your young driver can earn badges and perks to redeem for free stuff.

4. Make sure they’re protected if something goes wrong

When you add a new, young driver to your policy, your premiums will increase more than they would if you were adding a seasoned driver, like a spouse or partner. Insurance rates for young drivers are higher because they are considered to pose more risk than other age groups. In a study conducted by Transport Canada, people between the ages of 16–24 accounted for 24% of auto collision related fatalities. The goal is of course to make sure your teen driver never experiences an unfortunate incident, but it feels good to know you’re covered in a worst case scenario.

5. Have ongoing conversations with your young driver

The Onlia Sense app provides a great way to gamify safe driving, and also acts as a great tool to have regular conversations about how your teen driver is performing out in the real world. Take a minute or two each week to review your new driver’s trip scores and shares some tips on how they can possibly improve. For some extra fun, compare your drive score with your young driver, and challenge each other for top score.

While you’e chatting safe driving, it’s always a great time to remind your driver of the hazards of driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Not sure how to approach that topic? Our Driving High blog has some helpful tips. More than anything, help your young driver feel understood and supported as they continue on their safe driving journey. Being new to the roads can be daunting, it’s important that your teen driver feels confident, empowered, and most of all – safe.


It can sometimes be hard to remember your first days on the road and the anxieties and excitement that come with being a new driver. More than anything, it’s important to get your young driver off on the right foot – which means preparing them with all the tools and information they need to make safe driving choices. We hope the above tips help you support your young driver along the way.

Any tips you think we missed? Tweet us @OnliaCA #OnliaCA and we’ll add them to the list!

Safe driving,
Team Onlia