Injury Attorney in Alexandria Shares Tips For Teen Driver Safety Week
Posted on Oct 10 , 2016
When your teen reaches driving age it becomes crucial for you as a parent to become actively involved in their training behind the wheel. This can be a stressful time for both parent and teen as you both try to navigate this new level of independence. At the end of the day, the most important driving skill you can pass on to your teen is to always put safety ahead of everything else. This is National Teen Driver Safety Week and to help reduce the anxiety and tension that can develop as you begin teaching your new driver the rules and best practices on the road, here are a few tips from an injury attorney in Alexandria to help foster more productive driving lessons. Keep calm and create a comfortable learning environment. Remember that driving is a complex skill to learn and being in the driver seat is new for your teen. They are going to make mistakes and they are most likely just as nervous as you. If you get frustrated easily and raise your voice, it will create a tense atmosphere that will make it difficult for your teen to relax and focus. So, remain patient and when they make a mistake, take a minute to stop and discuss what went wrong. Providing constructive criticism will help your teen learn from their errors. This will keep the lines of communication open and your teen will respond positively to your feedback, and ultimately, will make your hands-on training much more effective. Take the process step-by-step. Don’t move too quickly and start by setting small goals in the beginning. When your teen is operating a vehicle on their own for the first time it is best to begin by practicing in an empty parking lot, open areas where they will not encounter other vehicles or back roads with minimal traffic. This will allow your teen to get comfortable using their signals, shifting gears, turning, backing up and mastering other basics before they have the added stress of navigating around other vehicles in traffic. These early lessons in low-pressure circumstances will also help them gain confidence to make decisions and think quickly in real life traffic situations. Once they master basic driving skills, move on to supervised driving on city streets and eventually allowing them to practice driving on the highway. Of course, always have a parent or other experienced licensed adult driver in the car. Complete a defensive driving course. Giving your teen practical, real life experience on the road and around other cars is a vital foundation to help them develop into safe, responsible drivers. But it is also a good idea to have them receive educational instruction from a certified driving program on your state’s driving laws, including regulations around driving in construction areas, school zones, on the interstate, and tips for safe driving in severe weather conditions. Going through a certified defensive driving course is often required for new drivers to receive their learner’s permit and it also instills a basic awareness of safety protocols and legal guidelines on the road. Set a good example and outline driving rules. Remember your teen is likely going to mimic your own driving habits. So, make sure you are leading your teen by being a safe driver and practicing what you preach. Drive carefully and responsibly when your teen is in the car. Don’t speed or run red lights. Keep a cool head and don’t get angry and act out in a way that you wouldn’t want your teen to behind the wheel. Illustrating safe driving practices will have a much more powerful and lasting effect on their own driving. Driving is a privilege, so you should also set up rules for your teen once they have their license. Create these rules together so you can both agree on what’s fair. A few things to think about are a curfew and guidelines for having passengers when your teen is driving.