6 Tips to Teach Your Teen to be a Defensive Driver

The best way to teach your teen to be a defensive driver is to drive defensively yourself. Studies show that parents are the primary role model for teen driving behavior. Use your time spent teaching your teen to remind yourself of good driving habits. Here are six tips to teach the new driver to keep him or her safe on the road.

Look Ahead

New drivers may pay close attention to the car in front of them. Teach your teen to look farther ahead. A driver should be aware of what is happening up the road. The teen will have more time to react and to make an escape plan if that is necessary.

Use the Mirrors

Teen drivers also need to be aware of what’s going on to either side and behind the car they’re driving. Have them check the rear and side mirrors frequently. Drivers need to compensate for a car’s blind spot. Make sure your teen knows where that is. Teach your new driver to turn and look when changing lanes or backing up.

Avoid Distractions

New drivers may be easily distracted. According to Anthony Clark Insurance Brokerage from Calgary, distracted driving is becoming an international epidemic that jurisdictions worldwide are taking legal action against. Your teen should focus on driving, never on texting, changing the radio station, or joking and playing around with friends. Experts advise parents to require teens to drive alone, never with a crowd of peers in the car. It’s too distracting.

Never Tailgate

Your teen needs to understand that, the faster he or she drives, the more space there needs to be between your car and the one in front of you. Bad weather, including rain, snow, ice and reduced visibility, calls for even more caution. Remind the teen that, especially in bad weather, the car ahead may stop short or lose control. Your teen needs to have the time to react.

Be Courteous

Teens who are polite are safer and less aggressive on the road. Teach your teen never to crowd a car, never to pass in a dangerous situation, and never to speed through a populated area. Teach and show your teen patience.

Signal Your Intentions

Teach your teens to let other drivers see them coming. Signal a turn well ahead, slow down gradually, and use the horn if there is any question another driver may not see you. Always drive with the headlights on.

dad teaching teen to drive

Keeping your teen safe on the road is possible when you, the parent, model defensive driving behavior. Practice with your teen to make these six tips second nature.

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