As those yellow L plates are mounted onto the family car, most parents are bound to feel a little hesitation. You’ll start looking for car loans and cheap repayment schemes, but before any of that, you’ve got to teach them to drive first. Teaching your children to drive is a daunting task and one of your main priorities is to make sure they don’t pick up on any of your bad habits that have been collected over your many years of experienced driving.
Statistics show that teen drivers have the highest crash risk of any age group. Drivers aged 17-25 count for only 10-15% of all licenced drivers, but are involved in one out of four road deaths in Australia. Safety first is obviously paramount, so call out the kids on any mistakes and you’ll sleep a little easier at night knowing that at least they are doing the right thing on the road. Here are our top tips to teach the kids on their first driving lesson.
Leave the mobile phone at home
To avoid the distraction completely, make sure your learner driver leaves their phone at home. The distraction can become all too enticing when waiting at a stop light and as the supervisor you should also lead by example. If you’re not completely fond of this concept in case of emergency, put your own on silent and into the glove box during the lesson to make it a much safer trip. You never know what a quick 10 seconds with your eyes off the road could lead to.
Turn the radio off
I love rocking out to a good song when driving to work just as much as the next person, but it is best to leave the jam session out of the car when you are a learner driver. This way, the learner will be able to hear any instructions from the supervisor clearly and the distraction of a good song won’t even be a risk. Learners will also have the opportunity to think clearly and as you’ve said more times than you care to admit, “turn the music down, so I can see,” definitely won’t go astray.
Be aware of road signs
There is a reason that there are signs on the road for hazards, speed limits, and general rules. Make sure before you even step foot in the car with your child that they understand what these signs mean. Not only should your kids be aware of these signs, but they should also know what signs on other vehicles mean and the road etiquette surrounding trucks and buses. Knowing these before you hop in the car will make you a conscious driver on our roads.
Take fewer passengers
Now, there are obvious safety tips like driving to road conditions, speed limits, wear your seatbelt etc., but some aren’t as obvious. Queensland P1 laws only allow one non-relative passenger after 11pm, but after that one year of solo driving you are free to carry any passengers. Our top tip to teach your kids is that less is more in the driving world. If their friends are likely to distract them from the road or peer pressure them it is best to leave them behind. Keep the passengers to a minimum and it will be a safer drive for all those involved.
We hope these tips make you a little more confident when taking your kids on the road for the first time and if in doubt, maybe leave it to the professionals the first few rounds.
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