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Teenage Drivers

  • Posted on Oct 25, 2016

My daughter still laughs when she tells the story. I wanted to teach my daughter to drive so that I was sure she learned how to be a safe driver. We did an online class together and it was actually a good experience for both of us. The parent instructions were meant to be read prior to each session and I did this dutifully. One section made particular good sense. Do not say ‘stop’ to a new driver or they may put their foot on the brake (or gas pedal) too quickly. Instead, the instructions recommended, say “slow to stop”.

I was a total failure. When we would approach another car or intersection, I would start chanting….slow/to/stop, slow/to/stop…the words would run together in a rush and I’m sure my anxiety did not help her learning!

I certainly did not know the risks associated with teenage drivers…with the distractions of the cell phones, eating and other teens in the car. After all, I have been driving a long time and we take a lot for granted when we’re an experienced driver. The risks to new driver, however, is very significant and it really helps if you get informed.

Another piece of advice. Get a teenager-parent driving contract. Make sure your teenager reads it, signs it and hold them accountable. We’re talking about their lives here so take this seriously!

The CDC helped create a website with education and a contract you can design for yourself.  Youngdriverparenting.org.  Do it today!

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