If there is one thing that you are likely to come across as a parent, it’s teaching your teenager how to drive. It’s more than getting them into the car for lessons, though. You have to constantly repeat the rules of the road, how to be safe and what to watch out for to ensure that they are a good driver. Teenagers are desperate for independence, as we all are from time to time, and driving is one of the best ways that they will be able to maintain that independence.
The thing is, the statistics are enough to show you that teenage learners are some of those at risk on the road. It’s not just the risk for them by other drivers, but their risk of putting other drivers in danger. You don’t want your teenager to be a statistic, which means that you need to teach them how to be safe on the road. You have an opportunity here to make sure that your teenager is as low risk as possible. Sure, there are experienced car accident lawyers out there to help you and your teenager if there is an accident, but if you can teach them better, they won’t need to worry about accidents. Below, we’ve got nine things that you can teach your teenage driver to help them to be better on the road.
- Always wear your own seatbelt. If you want to model good driving skills, you need to start with something as simple as a seatbelt. Make sure that you are wearing yours and they will copy you every single time. Don’t forget to teach them just WHY seatbelts work, though.
- Don’t get your phone out. Even as the instructor, you need to continue modelling good driving. This means leaving your phone in your pocket or in the car door and making sure that you only get it out at a stop point. Learner drivers aren’t allowed to use their phones while driving – not at all. And brand new drivers are the same, too. You should ensure that you are imitiating this behavior.
- Make sure the speed limit is clear. You should keep your teenager confident that it doesn’t matter what other drivers are doing – they must keep the speed limit at all times. Keeping to the speed limit really does reduce the risk of an accident, and it also ensures that they aren’t pulled over!
- Always check the blind spot. Teaching your teenager how to check the blind spots of the car is so important if you want them to remain as calm as possible. Side and rear mirrors really help but there is nothing quite like showing them exactly where the blind spots are. Get them to check and recheck all of the blind spots over and over until they know how to look for themselves.
- While you’re there, show them the blind spots of other people, too. Teenagers should be aware of the blind spots of other vehicles, too, as they need to have others’ cars in mind for better safety.
- Drinking dangers. Your teenager is going to get sick of hearing this, but drinking and driving is dangerous. You know it, they know it and you need to ensure that you are all on the same page about driving safety. Drinking is nice fun with friends, but no one wants to have to think about the consequences of showing off after a few beers. Remind your teenager of the legalities of this!
- Talk about tiredness. Your teenager is going to have to learn all about not driving drowsy and the risks of doing so. Sleepiness is going to impair their ability to drive and really impair their concentration. If you teach your teenager to have a nap before long drives, you’re going to help them to tell the difference between safe driving and unsafe driving.
- Teach them about the lights. The headlights of the car are there for a good reason, and while it’s obvious to you to switch them on at night, your teenager will need to learn this, too. If you teach them which lights to have on and when, you can ensure that they are safer. They won’t be able to control other drivers on the road, but they can control their own actions.
- Saying no to passengers. Your teenager will want to bring all their friends with them on trips. Teach them to say no to that – you’ve worked hard to instil those great driving habits, and you don’t want them all undone! No passengers equals no distractions.