Getting behind the wheel for the first time can be a nerve-racking experience. Maybe you have a child or a younger sibling that is learning how to drive and you are responsible for teaching the ins-and-outs of driving safely. It’s important to focus on defensive driving and what all that entails. Take a look at the following 3 defensive driving tips to teach to the new driver in the family.
Defensive Tip #1: Ignore the Phone
The slogan “it can wait” coined by At&T several years ago is absolutely true. Texting, changing music, fiddling with the GPS, and even taking non-hands-free calls are not worth the risk of other’s lives. Teach your new driver to choose their music and destination before even starting the engine. Let them know that the latest tweet or Facebook post is irrelevant compared to driving safely.
If a phone call needs to be made or answered, slowly instruct them to pull over to a safe spot before taking the call. Staying alert while on the move is key to driving defensively. There are already too many distractions on the road. It’s best not to add any more.
Defensive Tip #2: Observe and Obey All Traffic Signs
Traffic signs are not arbitrary. They are purposely posted to direct cars through traffic safely. Hopefully, your new driver learned many of these signs through their studies but there are quite a few. Talk with your child about each sign that you encounter and emphasize their importance.
Teaching them to focus on the signs rather than what the other drivers are doing can keep them safe while behind the wheel. Always be aware of what others are doing but don’t follow them. That’s why traffic signs exist.
Defensive Tip #3: Keep A Safe Distance
Sometimes new drivers can be a little impatient. Well, to be frank, all drivers can be a little impatient. Teaching your younger sibling patience even when other vehicles are driving extremely slow increases their chance of staying safe.
A good rule of thumb is to stay two seconds behind the vehicle in front of you. While driving behind an 18-wheeler, extend your following distance another second for every 10 feet of additional trailer length. It’s not worth arriving at a destination a couple of seconds earlier if other’s lives are put at risk.
Defensive Driving Saves Lives
For every 100,000 vehicle accidents, teenagers are involved in 5,000 of them. This is a stark contrast to the rate of 500 accidents per 100,000 that more experienced drivers get into. Teaching the new driver in the family how to be defensive while on the road will help them not be just another number. Habits start at a young age, so instill the correct ones today!