For most teenagers, a driver’s license is the rite of passage from childhood to adulthood. The license is a symbol of independence and freedom. When adding a teen driver to your family policy keep in mind that not all teens mature and develop at the same age mentally and physically. This plays a big part in responsible driving and complex physical maneuvers.
Here are a few tips to put into action as your new teen driver starts their journey.
- Assess your teen’s capabilities. Know their mental and physical limitations that affect coordination and movement of arms, legs, and eyes. Assess their mental capabilities and response to distraction and response times. Feeling confident about their capabilities is important before putting them on the highway.
- Pick a safe car. Putting a new teen driver behind the wheel of a fancy sports care right off the bat may not be the best idea. Some teens who are insecure may feel safer in a mid-size or larger car.
- Enroll your teen in a safe driver program. If your teen does not take driver’s education in school find a private driving course.
- Discuss the dangers of distracted and impaired driving. Have a firm discussion about cell phones, texting, and talking on a phone while driving. Also, discuss distractions from the radio, music, and other sources of distraction.
- Make sure your teen driver is well versed in all working parts of the vehicle. Teens should have a clear understanding and working knowledge of:
- Starting/turning off the engine
- Mirror adjustments
- Dashboard controls
- Turn signals and Headlights
- Wipers and Emergency lights
- Parking brake/release
A few basic driving tactics your teen driver should master is:
Keeping a safe following distance, approaching of congested areas, slow down for crosswalks, changing lanes and merging into traffic, determining and using the right of way.
Spending time with your teen driver will help make the driving process smooth and will ensure a safe start to their driving future.