As you already know, my daughter Christina has received her learner’s permit and is ready to get on the road.  We’ve had a few mishaps which were mostly our fault for being so naive.   We, as parents, have learned a lot from this experience.

Safety Tips for young drivers getting their license

  • Always adjust your mirrors and seat before putting the car in drive.  A properly setup vehicle is key in safe driving.
  • Know where your signal light, windshield wiper, and hazard light controls are.  You never know when you’ll have to use them and figuring it out while driving can be extremely dangerous.  Every vehicle is different!
  • Always slow down when turning, but don’t be a turtle when making the turn.  This causes one more grey hair on your parent’s head.
  • Look straight and far!  It doesn’t matter who sees you driving or who calls your name.  You’ll find out who it is later if it matters.
  • Look straight and far! This will keep you driving at a consistent speed rather than slowing down and speeding up.
  • If you are turning into an intersection with a hidden driveway, always wait a few more seconds before turning.
  • Keep up with the traffic but rule of thumb is to keep two car lengths away from the car in front of you.  At 39, I stick to this rule.
  •  Don’t be anxious of a car who’s driving too close behind you.  This will cause you to speed up and slow down at times due to constantly checking your rearview mirror.  Be aware that they are there, but don’t resort to speeding to rid of them.  Stay within the speed limit and the driver will realize that you are not going to speed up no matter what he/she does.
  • Practice, practice, practice, driving in reverse!  I did it as a teen and it’s not easy feat for many!
  • Don’t have any food or drink in the car.  Taking your eye off the road for a second could be detrimental.
  • Always be extra careful in a parking lot.  Take it slow! Although everyone appears to be driving slow, there are children, unexpected obstructions, and other distractions that could lead to an accident.
  • Drive with one vehicle in the beginning.   By doing this, you will get accustomed to the brakes and gas pedal.  Once you’ve mastered the art of turning, stopping, driving, signaling and checking your blind spot, then move on to another vehicle.
  • Don’t choose the nagging parent to drive with for the sake of driving.  A nagging parent can cause more stress then you need right now.  It’s simply better not to drive and wait for your driver’s ed teacher.
  • Finally, know how to get gas.  Know where how to unlock the trap door, open the gas cap, and put gas in properly without getting covered in it.

Driving is a huge milestone in a teenager’s life.   Being responsible and knowing how to be safe is key not only for yourself but for other drivers sharing the road with you.

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