How to Safely Be a Defensive Teen Driver
Most parents’ number one worry is if their teens will get into a car crash. If we teach teens to drive defensively we can have some peace of mind while they’re on the road.
Defensive teen driving can help to prevent crashes, but teens need to be taught the difference between defensive driving and driving aggressively. Driving defensively should equate to focus on driving and driving safely. Step one in safe driving is preparedness. New drivers should be taught how to respond to other cars and anticipate any fast movements that could happen. However, it is important that teen drivers know that they can’t expect any specific behavior from drivers on the road, so they need to be on the lookout for cues and clues that other drivers may be distracted or impaired while driving.
Be Prepared, Know Your Exit
One of the best ways to be prepared for the road is to be constantly assessing an exit. This will make us safe from the unknown that exists out there on the highway. We cannot predict the behavior of other drivers, but we can know what to do in every situation. While driving, teens should be paying attention to the road, their mirrors, and the cars around them. During these assessments, the driver should be thinking of what could happen in specific scenarios. Say the car to our right suddenly swerves into our lane, we should know what we would do in this situation. Being prepared in this regard could save our lives.
Respect the Road
Teenagers are known to be boisterous, so it’s important that while teaching them to be defensive drivers we also teach them to respect the road. People die in automobile crashes every day, with the right instruction our teens are less likely to be part of those statistics. Using cell phones, eating, putting on makeup, and other forms of distracted driving will immediately remove the protection that we’ve installed by driving defensively. It is also a great idea to be hyper aware of signage, this habit will help to keep teens engaged in the business of driving. Signage will let us know the speed limit, specific road issues, or special conditions that we should be aware of.
Be Cautious of Other Drivers
Aside from planning an escape from other drivers, teenagers should be cautious of their distance from the cars driving around them. Teach teenage drivers not to tailgate, maintaining a proper following distance is crucial to driving safely. Leaving 4 to 6 seconds between you and the vehicle in front of you will give you the space you need in an emergency situation. Tailgating could result in a collision because you never know what that driver in front of you will do. Being aware of the distance between us and the vehicle in front of our car is essential to being a defensive driver. Also, thinking on our feet to plan an escape in the event of a crash requires a little space to maneuver. If we have enough room between us and the car we’re following we’ll have a better chance of avoiding a situation.
The most important thing to teach teen drivers is to pay attention. At the root of each of these points is that one lesson. If we pay attention to the road we will be prepared for anything that comes our way. Being a defensive driver means being ready for anything and not being aggressive. So be sure to always be planning an exit, respect the road, and follow at a safe distance.
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