What to Teach Your First-Time Driver Before Hitting the Freeway
Teaching your teen how to drive may seem scary, but keep calm. If you find ways to teach safety and ways to make it a more positive experience, your teen will thank you. Before they get to harder skills like parallel parking or getting on the freeway, here are some skills they should know and how to teach them.
Teach About Car Safety
A new driver should know about basic car safety, including the proper maintenance of the vehicle. Before driving the car, have the student walk around it and learn what safety issues to be on the look-out for. For example, a cracked windshield or fluid leaking under the car may be signs to get help before driving the car. Take this one step further by teaching your teen to change the oil, check the air pressure in a tire, or how to use jumper cables.
Review the Rules of the Road
Although your student likely learned many of the rules of the road in a Driver’s Education class, it is a good idea to go over some of the most important ones. An accident attorney suggests taking on Goliath issues like these by going through your state’s Drivers Manual with your teen to make sure they understand the basics.
When learning to drive, it is of utmost importance to pay attention to the details. Sitting in the driver’s seat is new and has many distractions such as the radio or other passengers. Keep the student’s mind on the road by eliminating music or extra people in the car during lessons. It is also important that teens have absolutely no access to their phones while driving. Looking at a mobile phone takes the teen’s eyes and mind off the road when even seconds can count. Put the phone on silent mode in the backseat or lock it in the trunk.
Adjust Seats and Mirrors Before Moving
Upon first entering the driver’s seat, teens should make sure the seat is in a comfortable position, so they can reach the pedals and see out the windows. Mirrors should also be adjusted before moving. Before the very first lesson, you can stand in different positions around the car, so the student can begin to learn exactly how to use the mirrors and to find the “blind spot.”
Teaching all the right lessons is a great start to keeping your teen safe while behind the steering wheel. Try not to make your lessons stressful or negative. Positive learning will keep your teen motivated and encouraged to drive with the right techniques.
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