Learning to drive is a rite of passage for many teens, but it is also cause for parent’s concern. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), road accidents are the leading cause of death for people between the ages of 16 and 19. Teens are three times as likely to have a fatal crash as people over 20, but most accidents can be prevented entirely. If you’re teaching your teen to drive, here are five of the most important lessons to include.
Proper Use of the Passing Lane
Plenty of young people learn to drive on two-lane roads, which can leave them baffled on four-lane roads and highways. Knowing how to use the passing lane is integral to safe driving. Teach your child that driving in the passing lane for extended periods is not acceptable, and that they should move over if a faster car approaches from the rear.
How to Zipper Merge
The concept of a zipper merge can be confusing to new drivers. Ideally, both lanes should be used to the merge point and then both lanes take turns forming a single lane. Failing to understand this can lead to traffic backups as everyone piles into the lane that will continue, leaving the terminating lane empty. This is not only a waste of fuel, it can also be dangerous if side streets are blocked. Make sure your child knows how to navigate through this kinds of street.
Safe Left-Hand Turns
When waiting to make a left-hand turn at an intersection, new drivers will sometimes crank the wheel as they wait to turn. This leaves them vulnerable to a head-on collision should they be struck from behind, as the turned wheels will drive them into oncoming traffic. Teach your child that anticipating a left turn is dangerous, and their wheels should not be turned until they have put their foot on the accelerator to make the turn.
What to Do After an Accident
It’s not uncommon for a teen who has just experienced their first fender-bender to become hysterical and not know what to do. Talk to your teen about how to make sure no one is hurt, exchanging insurance information, and calling the family defense lawyer if the police are involved. They should be ready to handle any kind of emergency on the road.
Giving Way to Pedestrians
Teach your child to always look for pedestrians before making a right-hand turn, especially at streets where there is no light. Pedestrians do not always glance over their left shoulder before stepping into the street, which can lead to a nasty accident if drivers aren’t careful. Also discuss double-checking for pedestrians before turning left at an intersection to avoid an accident, or being caught in the center of the intersection when the light turns red.
Learning to drive is exciting for many teens, but there are mistakes common to beginners. Consider having your teens talk to a Keyser Defense Attorney from Minnesota so they know the consequences of driving recklessly. By discussing these situations with your child, you can teach them to be a confident and safe driver.