New Teen Driver? Practice These New Driver Tips with Your Kids
When your teenager starts driving for the first time, it can be hard to tell who’s more scared: you or them? Driver’s education courses seem to end just as your kids are starting to get the hang of things, but there’s so much left for them to learn before they should really be out on the road. It takes at least a year for most people to feel truly comfortable behind the wheel of a 4,000-pound vehicle. These are some of the best tips we could come up with to practice with your teen in their first few months of driving:
Break bad habits NOW
It’s the people who say, “it’s ok, I’ll use my turn signal when I get more comfortable” who get in the habit of turning without signaling. If you notice any bad habits like that in your teen, work with them to correct the error NOW. In some ways, driving a car is like riding a bike – you can’t really forget how to drive, but you can certainly develop bad habits that are hard to break later in life.
The same goes for distracted driving. If your teen texts and drives within their first few months of driving and does not get into an accident, it will probably become a habit for them. The more you drive while distracted without causing a problem, the easier it is to tell yourself that it’s ok, and the more likely you are to develop that awful habit.
Leave a safe distance
New drivers tend to be unaware of the proper distance to leave between them and the car in front of them. Work with them until they are comfortable realizing when it’s time to hit the brakes (and when it’s ok to get a bit closer).
Left lane for passing
Unless your new driver is already speeding (another bad habit to break), they should rarely be using the left lane. A lot of new drivers miss the part in driving school where they tell you that the left lane is intended for passing, and slower drivers should stay to the right. If your teen is driving below the speed limit in the left lane, they are more likely to get rear-ended from a fast driver who is not paying attention, and they are more likely to cause traffic and lead to angry drivers around them.
Use bad weather as an opportunity for a driving lesson. Though it may be tempting to keep your teen off the roads when it rains or snows, it’s important for them to feel comfortable driving in those situations for the future. Sit calmly in the passenger seat and let them drive around a bit. They should learn to feel comfortable using their wiper blades, driving slower according to the weather, using their brights when necessary, and they should know the proper way to avoid black ice. Though we hope you don’t end up having to use this lesson, you should also teach them to turn into the skid if they start to skid.
The laws of right of way
Your teen might be unsure, too nice, or not nice enough when it comes to right of way. It’s important for everyone to understand that right of way is not really a matter of manners – there are certain rules in place to prevent collisions. For example, the first person to get to a stop sign at the intersection has the right of way and should proceed first. If your teen ignores the law and tries to move first, the other person might be following right of way and may not realize right away that your teen ignored the law. This can cause an accident. For another example, if you are trying to turn left at an intersection, the people driving straight have the right of way. If your teen is driving straight and stops to let someone turn left, this can cause confusion because your teen was not supposed to stop. Other cars may even try to go around your them, causing an accident.
Insure your teen
Even the best drivers should not be on the road without insurance. We know teen driver’s insurance can be pricey, but we can find you quotes from nearly every carrier that services your area. We’ll try to pool together as many discounts as possible to get you the best price on your teen’s auto insurance. Plus, our service is free! You have nothing to lose. Call now to get quotes on auto insurance for you and your family at 615-964-5250.