Learning to drive is an exciting time for teens, but happens to be one of the most nerve-racking experiences for parents. While you want you want your child to grow and become independent, it’s natural to worry about their safety at the same time. To help alleviate your fears, check out these road safety tips for your new teen driver.
Easy on the Gas
Whether it’s temptation or just getting acclimated, teens tend to slam on the gas pedal after a stop. You should discuss with them the importance of carefully controlling their acceleration and how this practice keeps them safe.
Explaining how a car’s engine performs better, saves on gas, and minimizes costly repairs when easing into the gas pedal is also an excellent angle. Your teen most likely wats to spend their money on hanging out with friends instead of car maintenance.
Keep it Steady
There are two types of first-time drivers. The first grips the wheel hard enough to turn their knuckles white, and the second barely holds the wheel at all. Neither is beneficial when learning to drive. Teaching them to have a firm, controlled grasp helps them take turns and keep the car in its lane.
This one takes a while to get used to, but is equally as important as easing into the gas pedal. Instead of bracing for a sudden stop, teach them to keep their eyes peeled for yellow lights and upcoming stop signs. Aside from not developing whiplash, this is another money saver when it comes to maintenance.
This is another two-fold lesson for your teen. It’s vital that they avoid the temptation to speed, but they also need to maintain their speed when out on the road. Reinforce why speed limit signs exist. They are there for everyone’s safety as well as optimal gas mileage.
If your child happens to be a speed demon, remind them that arriving somewhere a few minutes early isn’t worth ending up in a car accident. Their life is far more valuable than a quick thrill. It also helps to remind them that any traffic violations could come with severe consequences.
Create a Cushion
Without a safe distance in-between them and the car in front of them, your teen could find themselves liable for a nasty accident. Personal injury attorneys at Easton Law Offices recommend a two to three second “cushion” as a safe following distance. Between increased insurance premiums, repairs, and a possible lawsuit, this is one your teen will easily understand.
Finally, remind them of the importance of using their turn signals. This is the only way other drivers know where your teen intends to go. Encourage using signals on every turn, no matter where they are or if there are other cars on the road.
The car’s horn is another form of communication, but you should ask them to use this sparingly. The last thing you want is your teen facing someone with road rage while learning how to drive. Remind them that their horn is warning to help avoid possible collisions, not a way to express anger.