Practice! Practice! Practice! This adage is one we are all familiar with and its never been truer than with your teen driver. Research now says that the leading cause of crashes involving teens is due to inexperience. So keep up that practicing! Along with that, here are some other teen driving tips.
The Top 3 Teen Driving Tips
Every new driver struggles with driving essentials that come with time, such as judging the space between cars, the time it will take for the vehicle to stop, or how to turn at the correct speed. All of these inexperience factors contribute to the high rate of accidents involving teens. However, there are three distinct branches every parent can focus on when teaching their kid how to drive.
- How to scan the environment while driving to detect and respond to hazards
- How to drive in various weather conditions
- How to handle and minimize distractions
Driving Lesson Tips
The goal of any and all driving lessons should be providing your teen with driving practice that is varied, of quality, and of course in large quantities!
- Start with the basics! Have your teen start in the driveway. Teach them what each of the buttons in the vehicle does, make sure they know all the necessary functions. Spend time having them adjust and readjust the mirrors to the setting they need. Help them figure out a comfortable sitting position, etc. Being confident in how the car works and feels is a great start to making sure your teen is safe behind the wheel.
- Practice driving in all kinds of environments! Parking lots, neighborhoods, and going to and from the stores your family most often visits (grocery, gas, and friend’s houses). Practice more challenging situations such as the airport, one-way streets, and the freeway.
- Have your teen drive at all times of day and night.
- When available, have your teen drive in various kinds of weather.
- Teach your new driver to look for hazards such as pets, kids, or bicyclists and talk through how they might respond; especially if a pet or child darted into the road to get a toy.
- Coach your driver what to do in emergencies. This is also a great time to develop a system of where to keep insurance and registration information in case they ever need it.
- Help your teen know how to plan their route and use GPS effectively.
- Consider helpful extras like online videos, high school driving programs, or even a driving school.
In addition to teaching your teen how to drive well, don’t forget to also give your driver tools to minimize distractions. Most cell phones now have a ‘Do Not Disturb’ capability that will block text messages while driving. This is a great feature to utilize considering 12% of accidents involving teens is because they are on their phone in some way. Be sure to discuss the passengers you are comfortable with in the car. 15% of crashes are caused by being distracted by a passenger. Talk with your teen about how anything that takes their brain away from driving, such as adjust the radio, eating, or doing their make-up, is considered a distraction.
Lastly, every driving lesson should come with a review of the obvious safety rules. Don’t drink and drive and do not drive/ride without a seat belt. Here at We Fix It, we are committed to keeping your teen as safe as possible. So remember, while practice might not make perfect, practice will make permanent life long safety habits.