The United States has one of the highest car ownership rates in the world. It’s estimated that 90% of families have a car. It’s one of the primary ways families move from one place to another.
Additionally, the country has one of the highest driver’s licenses in the world. It’s estimated that about 228 million Americans have a driver’s license. That’s about 1 in every 7 people. A good chunk of these people is teenagers.
Unfortunately, car accidents are also one of the leading causes of death in the United States. In 2015, over four million car accidents resulted in injury annually. So, it’s no surprise that many parents want to ensure their children are good drivers. After all, a child that knows defensive driving is an accident-proof child. Here’s how you can raise a defensive driver:
It’s good to start early when it comes to teaching your children about driving. Teach them about basic traffic laws such as stop signs and yield signs. You can even role-play with them to make it more fun. Then, as they age, you can start teaching them more advanced topics such as how to change lanes and merge. Starting early also means letting them take their first driving exam.
Enroll Them in a Learner’s Permit Exam
The United States offers a lot of ways for children to start early when it comes to driving. Once they reach the age of 14, you can let them take the DMV-approved learner’s exam. This exam is usually given by the DMV or a local driving school. Once they pass this exam, they will be issued a learner’s permit.
This permit will allow them to practice driving with someone with a valid driver’s license. You must supervise them while they’re driving. You can also give them tips and advice on improving their driving. It’s the best way to start early.
Teach Them About Your Vehicle
Your children must know how to use all the features in your vehicle. For example, teach them to turn on the headlights, use the windshield wipers, and adjust the mirrors. They should also know how to check the oil level and tire pressure.
You should also teach them about your vehicle, including the blind spot, airbags, and seatbelts. All these things are essential in keeping them safe while driving.
Defensive Driving Always
Regarding defensive driving, there are a few fundamental principles that everyone, including your child, should know. First, defensive driving is all about anticipating the actions of other drivers and being prepared for the worst-case scenario.
One of the most important things to remember is always to keep your eyes on the road. You should never look at your phone or talk to passengers while driving. Instead, you need to be focused on what’s happening in front of you.
You also need to be aware of your surroundings. Make sure you know what’s happening in all directions, not just in front of you. This includes watching for potential hazards, such as pedestrians and cyclists.
Another critical defensive driving principle is always leaving yourself a way out. You should never put yourself in a position where you can’t escape if something goes wrong. For example, don’t cut someone off or drive in the middle of two lanes. Instead, leave yourself enough room to maneuver if necessary.
Finally, always be prepared for the unexpected. Other drivers make mistakes, and sometimes those mistakes can lead to accidents. If you’re prepared for the worst, you’ll be less likely to panic and make bad decisions.
You should teach your child these principles if you want them to be a defensive driver. However, these principles don’t matter if your child isn’t patient enough to practice them.
Patience Above All
Patience is the most important quality for a defensive driver. Defensive driving requires split-second decisions, and if your child isn’t patient, they won’t be able to make those decisions properly.
You can help your child develop patience by teaching them to take their time when driving. They should never hurry or try to rush. They should also avoid tailgating and cutting people off. These things put unnecessary pressure on them and increase the chances of an accident.
If you teach your child these things, you’ll be well on raising a defensive driver. Just remember that it takes time and practice for them to develop these skills. So, be patient and don’t give up. With a little bit of effort, you
Lead by Example
Lastly, your children will learn a lot simply by observing you. So, it’s essential to be a good role model when you’re driving. Obey all traffic laws, use your turn signal, and never text and drive. If you practice good driving habits, your children are likelier to do the same.
It’s important to start teaching your children how to drive early. By doing this, you can help them become defensive drivers. Just remember to be patient and lead by example. You can raise a safe and responsible driver with a little effort.