Teaching Road Safety To Your New Teenage Driver

Commercial driver's education courses do a great job of teaching your child the basics of driving, such as where controls are located, how to recognize road signage, when to use turn signals, and so on. However, knowing how to drive safely and defensively is equally important. Teaching your new teen driver such important aspects of driving shouldn't be left up to someone else. Here are some things to cover before you hand over your car keys to your new teen driver.

Defensive Driving

Teach your teenager to anticipate other drivers' moves. Watching to see where another driver is looking can help in this endeavor, but being aware of surroundings is also necessary.

  • When driving past parallel parked cars, teach that they must anticipate the possibility that somebody might suddenly open a side door.
  • When the their light turns green, teach them to hesitate before entering the intersection and visually scan both directions in case somebody runs a red light.
  • When driving past vehicles on the highway, mention that they must be prepared in case another car crosses into their lane without signaling.

In general, teach your teen to always have a defensive plan in mind, and to be alert at all times.

Distracted Driving

Most teenagers have heard about the dangers of texting while driving, but many can't truly comprehend how little time it can take to cause an accident. Use creative ways to teach your child about the consequences of distracted driving. Help them to understand that many things, in addition to texting, can cause distraction in the car, such as:

  • Looking at a cute boy or girl walking on the sidewalk
  • Fiddling with the radio
  • Applying makeup in the mirror
  • Reading printed directions
  • Eating while driving

Road Rage

Teen drivers should learn common courtesy and road etiquette to avoid angering other drivers and creating additional threats. Teach your teenager which behaviors may enrage other drivers, including:

  • Pulling out suddenly in front of a car
  • Driving at inconsistent speeds (i.e. passing and then slowing down or braking)
  • Tailgating other vehicles
  • Making rude faces or gestures at other drivers

Teaching your teen by example must be part of your overall plan. Remember that they will watch you as you drive to learn more about how to be a good driver. When your new teen driver respects the rules of the road, they will have have minimized chance of being in an auto accident. Over time, their insurance rate (from companies like Hug Jeff Insurance) will reflect their good driving habits.