Most new drivers are excited to get their driver’s license. It is their first step to adulthood! However, it can also be a scary time for concerned parents, like YOU!
Let’s face it—Getting a driver’s license is a major milestone for any teenager. With it comes independence and they sure can’t wait to cruise around on their own. For you on the other hand, this exciting milestone could include a lot of sleepless nights and stress.
Take a deep breath and try to relax.
Tips to keeping your teen driver safe behind the wheel.
Tip #1 Let them drive as much as possible when they have their permit
Your teen will need 50 hours of driving time AND more than that is even better. Time to learn, experience different situations and guidance while experiencing hands on the wheel; it will make them more comfortable, confident and prepared to drive on their own (Yep, that’s what you are doing, preparing them to do this on their own!)
Tip #2: Be the example they need
Refrain from using your cell phone while driving, wear your seat belt and respect others on the road – solid advice you give your teen driver. Remember that actions speak louder than words, put into practice what you want them to do….
Tip #3: Their dream car is not worth it
Most teenagers turning 16 hope for a shiny new car on their birthday. Little do they know that a brand new car for a new driver is not the best idea. Look for autos that have high safety ratings and a multitude of safety options. There will be a day for a ‘new car’. A safe, economical and reliable car is what the new teen driver needs.
Tip #4: BUCKLE UP
Seatbelts save approximately 15,000 lives per year. Many cars will remind the driver to buckle up, however it is just as important that all the passengers do it too!
Tip #5: Teach them common rules of the road
Yes, there are plenty of rules to know when it comes to driving. Remind them of the most common rules of the road as you are on the road whether you are driving or they are… they are simple but necessary to a new driver….
- Always drive on the right side of the road
- Solid white lines mean stay in your lane
- Yellow lines separate traffic moving in opposite directions
- You must pull over or stop for an emergency vehicle
- Yield to pedestrians, ALWAYS
- Slow traffic must stay to the right
- Signal your intentions; changing lanes, turning, pulling out of a parking space
- Maintain a safe following distance
Tip #6: What to do when confronted by an aggressive driver
We all know there are aggressive drivers on the road. The best thing your teen driver can do is to stick to the speed limits, obey the traffic signals and attempt to get out of their way. If they sense they are being followed – head to a public place there are people at and pull right up to the front door. Keep their doors locked and call 911.
Tip #7: Keep the cell phone out of sight
Let’s face it—smartphones are one of the largest distractions for drivers whether they’re new to driving or not. Even if you think you think your teen is good at multi-tasking, distractions from phones present a big hazard on the road. Accidents happen in a matter of seconds and may harm them or someone else. Remind them that the text message, phone call or music selection is not as important as their life or someone else’s.
Tip #8: Being late is better than being in an accident
Speeding because you’re late is not worth the risk. Remind your teen driver that being late to an appointment or school is a much better option than risking their lives in an accident or getting a speeding ticket.
Tip #9: Teach them how to keep up on maintenance
Make sure they know how to read their dashboard and understand its warnings. Also good to know check the tire pressure and how to add air when needed. Simple things like filling their car with gas and adding windshield wiper fluid are essential. Want to go more advanced, teach them how to change a tire!
Tip #10: Weather conditions will impact driving
The elements of weather, rain, ice, snow or sunshine, not all driving practices are for all driving conditions. Teach them to know how to handle the common (and even uncommon) situations that may arise on the roads in your area.
Keep your teen driver safe and share these 10 driving tips with them.
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