Teenagers who know how to drive defensively are less likely to be involved in a motor vehicle accident. Teaching teenagers how to protect themselves on the road is vital to keeping them safe from harm. While nothing can guarantee a safe trip every time, there are some skills that can increase the odds in a young driver’s favor.
Staying Focused and Alert
Teaching teens to avoid distractions and focus on the road ahead is critical. Distracted driving kills more people than drunk driving. Distractions that should be avoided include eating, talking/texting on the phone, loud music, and “horseplay” with other people in the vehicle.
Teens should also be taught how to avoid dangerous drivers who may be drunk, distracted, or driving recklessly. Teaching them to recognize the signs can help alert them to danger before they get into danger’s path.
Teenage drivers have a tendency to speed. Whether they are on their way to work, meeting with friends, or late for classes, parents should teach them that it’s always better to be late than seriously injured or dead.
Similarly, teens should be taught to maintain the proper distance between vehicles. Driving in heavy traffic can increase the pressure to follow the flow of traffic and get closer to other vehicles than it’s safe to do. Teens should be taught to maintain a safe distance and adhere to the 3-4 second rule.
Watching out for Weather
Weather conditions are a leading cause of motor vehicle accidents. It’s vital to teach teens how to handle every possible weather condition they may encounter including rain, sleet, ice, or snow. Further, teens should know how to check their oil, antifreeze, tires, and wiper fluid so they don’t end up on the road in a vehicle that’s not prepared for prevailing weather conditions.
Teenage drivers should be taught to plan ahead for the trips they plan to take. This means taking into account potential traffic, the time required to reach their destination, weather forecasts, road construction, and alternative routes to follow. Teaching teenagers to plan their trips can help them stay focused during their journey. It can also help them avoid potential hazards on the road.