Defensive driving tips for your teenager

All too soon you are going to watch as your daughter backs her car out of the driveway and zooms off to school ... without you there to make sure she is safe. While you are not looking forward to that day, you do know it will soon become a reality. Since time is running out, you should make every possible effort to teach your teenager how to drive safely and defensively.

While you cannot control the actions of other drivers on the road, you can help your child avoid most collisions by teaching her proper driving habits. For some defensive driving tips for new drivers, read below.

Limit distractions

It goes without saying that driving and cellphones do not mix. Stress to your teenager that phone calls and texts can wait until she is not driving. In general, if the engine is running, the phone should be off limits. Your new driver should also limit other distractions. For example, she should avoid driving with passengers in the car until she becomes more experienced and confident with her driving. A car full of people can be even more distracting than a cellphone.

Watch for traffic signs

Traffic signs do more than just tell you when to stop. They also indicate speed limits, one-way streets, pedestrian crossings, and even areas with high populations of animals that may wander into the road. In order to avoid accidents, it is vital to pay attention to and obey all traffic signs and lights.

Do not follow too closely

While it might be tempting to ride close to a car that is driving too slowly, it is important to always maintain a safe distance behind the car in front of you. Explain to your teenager that those extra feet can make a major difference if a car unexpectedly stops or brakes.

Practice in different weather conditions

While you may want to keep your family off the roadways when it is raining or icy outside, driving in bad weather is an important skill. Take your teenager out in poor weather conditions so she can practice handling the vehicle on slick roads.

Learn to yield

Sometimes it is hard to know who has the right-of-way in every situation. When it is unclear or you are not sure, yield. To avoid an accident, it usually best to allow other drivers to go first in situations like these. Waiting a few extra seconds costs a lot less than paying medical bills and the deductible on your car insurance.

If you have a new driver in your household, the above tips can help her avoid becoming involved in an accident. Unfortunately, not every driver on the road will follow these tips. That is why it is important to remember that if you or a loved on becomes that victim of a negligent driver, you have rights and options.

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