If you are a parent of teens who has recently started driving or who will soon start driving, you might be a little apprehensive, especially knowing inexperienced drivers are more likely to get in accidents. Because it has been so long since you got your own license, it can also be hard to relate to some of your teen’s struggles to learn how to be a safe driver. If you are a parent of a teen, consider the following things you may have not thought to tell your child:
- Slowing down requires more than just taking your foot off the gas. While it might be second-nature to you to know slowing down usually requires you to use the brake pedal, some new drivers think taking their foot off of the gas is enough when they do not need to slow down significantly or come to a complete stop.
- Scan the whole road. It is easy to emphasize the importance of seeing what is happening in front of your teen while he is driving, but this can sometimes lead to tunnel vision, where the teen only sees what is directly in front of him. Teach your teen to regularly look in the rearview mirror as well as the side mirrors to see what is happening behind the vehicle. Scanning the sides of the road is also important. Pedestrians, bicyclists, or animals could dart across the road, causing a danger if your teen is not aware of the person or animal.
- Be careful when exiting the freeway. Some teens start slowing down too soon or slow down too much before actually getting on the exit ramp. This can lead to a rear-end accident, as traffic behind them is moving at a faster pace. Other teens do not slow down quickly enough when exiting the freeway, particularly when the exit ramp is curved or otherwise requires the teen to quickly slow down. Teach your teen to signal early when exiting the freeway, and make your teen aware of how to appropriately slow down when using an exit ramp.
- Going too slow can be dangerous too. Parents generally emphasize the importance of not speeding, but some teens, scared of driving, tend to try to drive too slowly. Teach your teen to drive with the flow of traffic. Starting on roads with lower speed limits can help your teen feel more comfortable driving with the flow of traffic. Then you can move to roads with higher speed limits.
No matter how careful you and your teen are on the road, accidents can be caused by other drivers. If you were injured in a car accident, our Columbia injury lawyers can help you. Contact us for a free consultation.