Tips for Parents/Behind the Wheel for Teens

Skid Control

Most newer, modern cars are equipped with ABS (Anti-Lock Braking Systems) and skidding is no longer the problem it once was, therefore investing in skid control training may not be as valued as it used to be. Prior to thinking of investing in skid control training it is advisable to have a regular license, and at least two hundred hours of normal on the road experience.

A skid happens whenever the tires lose their grip on the road. This is caused in one of four ways:
  • Over-braking - Braking too hard and locking up the wheels.
  • Over-steering - Turning the wheels more sharply than the vehicle can turn.
  • Over-acceleration - Supplying too much power to the drive wheels, causing them to spin.
  • Driving Too Fast - Most serious skids result from driving too fast for road conditions. Drivers who adjust their driving to conditions don't over-accelerate and don't have to over-brake or over-steer from too much speed.
We want to assist your teen in understanding these principles, along with the following tips for you to help your teenager develop safe driving skills.
 
Help shape responsible attitudes.
The cause of many teenage crashes is not an issue of insufficient skills or knowledge. It’s often an issue of attitude and maturity. You can influence and shape a responsible attitude about driving.
 
You are a role model.
You are your teenager's first driving instructor and coach. To be a credible supervisor, your own driving example and driving record are critical. Teenagers with poor driving records often reflect the behavior of their parents with poor driving records.
 
Supervise as much practice driving as possible.
Take an active role in your teenager's driving practice. Plan on supervising for at least six months in order to get your teenager acclimated to a variety of road conditions before he or she takes a driving test to get a license.
 
Be firm about safety belt use.
If you wear your safety belt every time you drive, your son or daughter can adopt this behavior more easily. Require that your teenagers wear safety belts at all times. No exceptions.
 
Discuss realistic consequences of drug and alcohol use.
Teenagers realize that driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is clearly dangerous, and a face-to-face discussion with mom and dad is a strong statement reinforcing that fact. Let them know that alcohol and drug use is totally unacceptable when driving.
 
Graduated licensing programs.
Graduated driver licensing limits new driver's privileges, allowing teenagers to gain experience and develop their driving skills behind the wheel under optimum driving conditions. Learn more about these programs from these websites:
 
Restrict passengers.
Teenage drivers often transport their friends. This practice should be limited and supervised carefully. Having more passengers in a car increases the chance of greater risk taking, primarily because of peer pressure. It also leads to greater distractions. It’s up to parents to limit their teenager’s driving time with friends in the car.
 
Limit night driving.
Many teenage car crashes take place between 9 p.m. and 12 midnight. Teenagers should be restricted to driving during the day, and gradually introduced to night driving as they gain experience.
 
Keep it slow and safe for starters.
Remember that teenagers need to stay away from fast-moving, high volumes of traffic at first. Gradually introduce more difficult driving situations such as highway driving, merge ramps, and major urban traffic areas.
 
Train for poor weather conditions.
Limit your teen’s driving during periods of bad weather until he or she demonstrates a high level of competence and confidence. Coach your teenage driver to drive in rain, snow, wind, sleet, and ice.
 
Restrict cell phones to emergency use only.
If it is necessary to use a cell phone, instruct your teenager to pull safely over to the side of the road before making an emergency call.
 
Choose safe vehicles for your children.
Avoid extremely small cars, trucks, and sport utility vehicles. Look for automobiles with high safety ratings and features such as airbags and crumple zones. Look at federal statistics and consumer report literature to help evaluate those ratings.
 
* All of these tips provided by Geico Direct
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