Photo Source/Copyright: Shutterstock via photographer Dasha Petrenko
Adulting is all fun and games until you have to actually be an adult. While it may be a joyous moment to have a child pass their driver’s license test on the first go… it can also be the beginning of a long, nerve wracking first step towards letting them go on their own. In an effort to keep them as safe as possible behind the wheel and to avoid insurance premiums from rising, here are some helpful driving tips to help shape their driving behavior before they hit the road on their own.
Avoiding “Driving While Angry” (DWA)
Every driver is familiar with the term driving under the influence (DUI). What most drivers don’t know, is that DUI’s aren’t exclusive to alcohol and narcotic impairment. Introducing DWA, the emotional instability that causes road rage and impairs driver judgement. According to Science Alert, North American researchers found that drivers who take the wheel emotionally agitated or angry, increase their risk of causing an accident almost 10x. Instead driving while angry, advise your teen to play some soothing classical music, lower the windows and take some deep breaths.
Conduct a Full STOP
As drivers become more and more experienced, stop signs and red lights become more of a “rolling” or “proceed with caution” sign. This is dangerous practice and above all is illegal. Drivers believe that once they get used to a specific route and know where the cops are or what intersections are less busy, that their chance of getting into a fender bender or receiving a ticket decrease dramatically. This is false. A red light or stop sign means stop. It also means come to a full stop in a safe/non-abrupt manner. There is no need to come to a screeching halt and damage your brake pads, or overuse your tires. Make the appropriate stop like you did during your driver’s license test and then proceed when it is safe to do so.
Wear the Proper Shoes
No… flip flops do not count. Parents. This one is crucial. There are unknown dangers for drivers, especially inexperienced teens, who drive without the proper footwear. When getting behind the wheel, the driver accepts full responsibility for his or her actions in their time driving. Teens or any adult operating a vehicle should never wear: heels, flip-flops, unsupported heel tab shoes, platform shoes, etc., when behind the wheel. The reason for this is due to the limited surface area and grip on the pedals versus that on footwear. Depending on the choice of footwear, a driver could be placing themselves in a severely compromised position with the wrong foot attire. If you’d like to drive in flip-flops, just bring them in the passenger seat and put them on after your route is complete. In some states it is illegal to drive with flip-flops, and in states like New York and California, drivers found in violation of that law are subject to fines upwards of $1,000.
Don’t Put Your Feet on the Dash
This message goes for the non-drivers in the car. It is important to note that there is a foot mat on the floor of the vehicle and not on the dashboard for a reason. It is important to let your child know that even if they are the passenger in the vehicle, they should abstain from placing their feet anywhere that is not the mat. Why? In the event of an accident, air bags are placed in the vehicle to prevent serious bodily harm from occurring, but if your feet are blocking that air bag from coming out or in a position they are not supposed to be in, that safety protocol has gone out the window. So please, tell your teen to avoid putting their feet up on the dashboard.
Driver’s Auto Mart
Parents want a car that is built safe and reliable…but also for a reasonable price. A teen’s car should never be an expensive one. Driver’s Auto Mart not only has a large list of models that are adept in protecting your teen, but many of them are incredibly affordable, with some for as low as $15,000.
Those who are interested in any of their models can simply view their online pre-owned inventory to search used inventory or chat with a representative for more information.
Terry is an avid Nascar fan who grew up attending races at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina, just down the road from his hometown of China Grove, NC. Terry currently resides in Wellington and has been writing for 15 years. He also enjoys watching the Road Runner Looney Tunes cartoon with his two sons in his spare time.