When a teen’s able to drive, it’s a big deal for them and the whole family. But, it’s more important to make sure we’re teaching them the safety rules
Be A Good Example
Remember, these are your children after all, and they do look up to you in all aspects of life, including driving. It is important that when you are behind the wheel with them in the car to demonstrate good driving habits. This includes no distractions like cell phones, and always keep both hands on the wheel, no matter how experienced a driver you may be. They shouldn’t be fiddling with the radio either. Your teen will see this and take the hint when the time comes for them to drive.
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Make Sure They Know The Car
It is important to know about the car that you are driving. Just as you need to know where the headlights are on your vehicle in order to switch them on in the rain, so too does your teenager. First, get in the car and ask them if they know where any of these items are, like windshield wipers, lights, hazards, etc.
If they don’t, make sure to show them, and then after teaching them, come back the next day and quiz them on it, because you don’t want them freaking out if they are driving in the rain and can’t figure out how to get the wipers on. It would also be prudent to teach them how to check things like the oil and windshield washer fluids as well.
Go Over State Rules With Them
It is important to make sure that when it is time for your teen to take the wheel, that they are familiar with your state’s driving laws. Most states do not allow teenagers to drive after a certain period at night or too early in the morning, when it is dark, or with someone who is not part of their immediate family. Keeping them abreast of the rules will help them stay safe.
Have Your Own Rules
In addition to rules and laws that the state has set in place for teen drivers, make certain that you create your own rules, as well, especially if they are using a family vehicle. Some good rules to implement are no distracted driving, which, yes, includes eating while driving. Another good rule to put in place is to tell them to always be mindful of their situations when driving.
Take A Defensive Driving Course
In addition to a driving course, it may be prudent for your teen to take a defensive driving course. This can teach them how to react in certain situations in which we all hope they never find themselves in. It teaches them how to deal with things like animals in the middle of the road and hydroplaning. It might not hurt to take the class with them, either. We all could brush up on our defensive driving skills.
Give Them The Right Tools
No, literally, now that they are driving, make sure to give them an emergency road kit, heaven forbid that something happens and they are on the side of the road. Kits usually include road flares, flashlights, and other items that can help a driver that is in a spot of trouble. Make sure that they know how to use the tools that come in the kit.
Make Sure They Know Road Safety
It is important for your child to know all the rules of the road, of course, but also the signs on the road as well. You should teach them what certain signs mean, like the slippery road signs, they may not know what those look like. Assure that they know what curves signs look like so they know to slow down the car when there is a curve coming up in the road.
Pedestrian and Passenger Safety
It is not only driver safety that should be taught, but it should be noted that pedestrian and passenger safety should be taught to your new driver as well. Passengers are usually limited to one person being a teen driver, and they usually have to be immediate family members. But different state laws have varying ranges on this rule. Still, passengers should be buckled in properly and should not distract the driver. Your teen should know that pedestrians usually always have the right of way and that they need to stop for them.
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Sources: GoodMenProject, Allstate, VeryWellFamily
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