As the end of Summer approaches, many teens will be hitting the road to drive themselves to school and other activities. Help your teen be a safe driver with these 9 driving tips.
1. Participate in a Safe-Driving Course
Practice makes perfect! The more time your teen spends practicing behind the wheel, the better prepared for real-world driving they’ll be. Your state’s DMV can often provide you with a list of approved safe-driving courses that can be taken online or in-person.
2. Limit distractions
Distractions are everywhere, especially in today’s world of electronic devices. Encourage your teen to put their cellphone away and set it to silent when driving. Talk to them about the dangers of distracted driving and pledge with them to put the devices away and focus on the road.
3. Practice Nighttime Driving
Because driving at night takes extra experience and skill, give your teen plenty of supervised opportunities to practice driving at night in a variety of conditions. Make sure your teen has had enough practice before allowing them to drive solo in the dark.
4. Respect the Speed Limit
As a new driver, your teen might not yet understand how to intuitively “feel” the speed they’re driving or know how to accelerate properly. Excessive speed contributes to a majority of traffic fatalities, so it’s important that you lead by example and help your teen monitor their speed when you’re riding along.
5. Watch the Weather
Teen drivers are especially vulnerable to bad weather conditions as they haven’t had as much practice with snow, ice, heavy rain and fog. Teach your teen how to compensate for bad weather by slowing down and increasing following distance.
6. Practice School Zone Safety
If your teen is going to be driving to and from school every day, they need to be extra mindful of school zones. Remind them to always stop for school buses with flashing lights, slow down if the school zone is marked, watch crosswalks and be mindful of fire lanes.
7. Yellow lights: Err on the side of caution
Attempting to outrun a yellow light is a dangerous practice. When riding along with your teen driver, teach them to practice caution when approaching yellow lights, which usually means stopping for them rather than speeding through.
8. Hands on the Wheel, Eyes on the Road
Drivers have the most control over their vehicle when both hands are on the wheel and their eyes are on the road. This will also limit and discourage distracted driving for your teen.
9. Practice what you Preach!
Setting a good example for your teen driver is one of the most important things you can do to ensure that they practice safe driving. Respect the speed limit, buckle-up, and avoid distractions behind the wheel. Your teen will follow your lead!
Content from Farm Bureau Financial Services