Teaching your teen to drive is a long, stressful process. Unfortunately, there isn’t an easier way to make sure they gain the necessary experience to keep themselves safe on the road.
Here are some good driving habits to encourage in your teen. It’s a good idea for you to review as well.
We’ve all dealt with the stress of sharing the road with bad drivers, whether they’ve cut you off, made sudden turns without signaling, or worse. One trait that these bad drivers have in common is that they’re unpredictable. You want other drivers to be able to tell what you’re going to do - when everyone is predictable, the road is safer. Here are a few tips:
-Pay attention to the road! Don’t eat, shave, put on makeup, and especially don’t text while driving.
-Don’t drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
-Keep a consistent speed, especially on the highway.
-Don’t swerve in and out of lanes.
-Use your turn signal before turning.
-Keep your distance from other unpredictable drivers
When drivers are hesitant, it’s usually because they want to avoid hurting themselves or others. While it’s good to be cautious, being overly hesitant can lead to accidents. You don’t need to be aggressive, but you should drive with confidence and make clear, decisive movements. Here are a few things you can do:
-Don’t ride your brakes, especially in light or moderate traffic.
-Make smooth lane changes. Don’t ride between lanes as you wait for the perfect moment to switch.
-It can be tough to maneuver through tight spaces, but you don’t need to brake constantly if you’re already in the space.
Many bad driving behaviors can be prevented with proper planning, so you want to get in the habit of thinking ahead. Here are a few behaviors that are good to practice:
-If you’re going somewhere new, look at the directions and/or a map beforehand. Don’t just rely on GPS.
-Pay attention to cars further ahead in addition to those right in front of you.
-Unless there is a sudden traffic jam, you probably don’t need to use your brakes on the highway.
-Make sure you’re in the correct lane. This may seem obvious, but we’ve all seen people cut across an entire highway to make their exit, or go straight through the turning lane. Plan your lane changes early.
-Don’t slam on the brakes when going through a curve - this can cause you to spin out. Adjust your speed beforehand so that you can coast through.
It takes a long time to develop good driving habits, so try to be patient as you teach your teen. There will be plenty of tense moments, but you’ll ultimately be able to have more peace of mind once they’re ready to drive on their own.
By Luke Smith
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