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Teaching your child to be a defensive driver

On Behalf of | Sep 23, 2022 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

It’s common for parents to worry about their children once they reach driving age. After all, these inexperienced motorists can quickly become flummoxed when dealing with complicated and ever-changing traffic conditions. Making matters worse is the fact that your child could be at risk of being injured in a car accident if they don’t have the skills needed to navigate the challenges that they are likely to see on the road.

What can you do to keep your child safe?

As scary as the possibilities may seem, there are things that you can do to help ensure that your child stays safe out there. One of them is to teach them how to be a strong defensive driver. Here are just some of the skills that you can teach your child to ensure that they act defensively when it matters:

  • Don’t be trusting of other drivers: Many young drivers give other motorists the benefit of the doubt. But this can lure them into a false sense of security, thereby making them vulnerable to a severe accident. So, teach your child to expect the worst of other drivers. This will keep them alert at all times, which will prepare them to take defensive maneuvers if necessary.
  • Maintain a proper distance: A lot of younger drivers end up involved in rear-end collisions because they simply follow the vehicle in front of them too closely. A good rule to follow is to pick a stationary object on the road and allow for three seconds to pass from when the driver in front passes it until your child passes it.
  • Plan a way out: When driving, it’s a good idea to always have a way to maneuver away from other vehicles who may improperly enter your lane. This can be especially important when driving near semi-trucks and other larger vehicles. So, try to teach your child to position their vehicle in a way that it can steer to the side of the road or into another open lane to avoid these sorts of situations.
  • Reduce distractions: We’re sure you’ve already spoken to your child about the dangers of distracted driving, but it’s a topic that’s always worth revisiting. Remind your child that there are a lot of distractions that can take their eyes off the road, and it’s, therefore, not just about avoiding texting and driving.
  • Follow the speed limit: This may seem obvious, but speed is a major contributing factor to a lot of accidents, and it can increase the severity of a car wreck. Therefore, help educate your child about the dangers of driving too fast, such as how increased rates of speed can make it difficult to slow down in wet conditions.
  • Maintain awareness: Things can change quickly on the road. A hazard may suddenly present itself or a car may veer into another lane without notice. Your child needs to know how to remain aware while navigating the vehicle.

Although a lot of these skills will come with experience, making your child aware of them and working with them early on can help keep them safe on the road. So, even if your kid says that they already know what you’re talking about, go ahead and reiterate your point. Hopefully, you can feel assured that you’ve done everything you can to protect your child.