With one quick blink, your baby is now a teenager. You may feel that it is time to hold your breath as you sit on the passenger side of the vehicle to teach your teen how to drive, but slowly exhale. Everything will be alright if you properly instruct your teenager about the rules of the road. Once you have taught your teen the basics of offensive driving, you will need to help them know how to drive defensively as they encounter other drivers on the street. Geico offers parents five helpful tips to guiding your teen driver on the road.
Plan Your Route Beforehand
Surprisingly, before you even turn the key in the ignition, the key to good defensive driving is to plan ahead. Know where you are going, how long it takes to get there, and if there are any possible delays. For example, if the roads are wet or icy, you may want your teen to plan on leaving the house earlier to give them the time to get where they are going safely. Advise your teen when taking turns on slippery roads to be more cautious. They need to be deliberate and steady when turning.
Scan Your Surroundings
Many drivers rely on their side mirrors and rearview mirror only. While they are certainly helpful and should be used, these mirrors cannot detect every inch around the vehicle. There plenty of blind spots. When teaching your teenager how to drive, you need to show them how to thoroughly scan their surroundings, using their mirrors as well as turning their heads to view those blind spots.
The brakes are your friend when instructing your teen. Show them where the brakes are located as quickly as possible in the first driving lesson and make them feel comfortable applying pressure to the brakes. Teach your teenager that it is important to leave space between their vehicle and the car in front of them. Instruct that getting too close to a car could lead to a potential wreck. By leaving enough room between the vehicle you are driving and the one in front of you, you give yourself enough time to apply the brakes should the car in front stop suddenly. Your teen should also know that it is wise to apply the brake early rather than later. This gives them time to act rather than quickly react.
Neither you nor your teen driver can change the way others drive on the road, and unfortunately, there are bad and rude drivers. The best thing you can do for your teen driver is to show them how not to overreact to bad driving. If someone cuts them off, then help them be the bigger man or woman by telling them to just continue with their driving. The best driver is a calm driver.
Don’t Get Distracted
Distractions are probably the biggest hurdle you will have to face when teaching your young driver how to operate their car on the road. There is visual stimuli everywhere as it is. Now days, though, just about every teen has a cellphone, and they love to keep in their hands. When your teen is driving, teach them to not use their phone while on the road. Their phone should be in their purse, their pocket, or in the center console. If they need their phone for the GPS app, then instruct them to set the directions while they are still in park and to place their phones in a car phone holder. Both hands should be firmly on the steering wheel at 10 and 2.
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Say A Pray & Let Them Go
Now, that you have taught your teen how to drive, all you can do is pray to God for safety and to trust that your teen has the understanding of proper driving protocol. When they apply these tips as they drive, they are certain to be excellent drivers.
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