Parents want to work with their teens to go above and beyond the training they get in driver’s ed classes. Doing so can help them become safe and responsible drivers. The reality is that teens have very high crash rates, in part because of a lack of experience, so anything that parents can do to offset that is certainly a benefit.

With that in mind, here are some defensive driving tips for teen drivers that parents may want to stress to them:

  • Never assume other drivers are going to do the right thing or that they’re not going to make mistakes.
  • Always be alert and pay close attention to the road around you, even when the driving feels simple and easy.
  • Keep a good cushion between vehicles by using the four-second rule; this means driving four seconds behind the next car. Just wait until it passes a stationary object, like a road sign, and then count off the seconds until you pass it.
  • Get rid of any distractions. This may mean turning off the music, putting away the phone or refusing to drive with friends in the car.
  • Always have an idea of what you’ll do if someone else makes a mistake. Think of this as your escape route.
  • Slow down. Speeding may only save you a few minutes, anyway. It’s not worth it. Slowing down gives you more time to react to the errors made by others.

These tips help and they may keep your teen safe, but other drivers are still going to make mistakes and cause accidents. If you or your teen get injured in one of these crashes, be sure you know how to seek financial compensation.