Teaching a Teen to Drive

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July 16, 2011

Father teaching his son to driveMy children have recently become teenagers but for the past year I have been sharing with them driving safety as we travel places. I only see them about once a month but you can make sharing driver safety a point to make on a trip. Some points I have made to my kids:


  1. 3 Second Rule: Pick an item along the road or in it and as the car ahead of you travels past or over that item start counting. One Mississippi, two Mississippi, 3 Mississippi, if you are going over or past that item in the road after you say 3 Mississippi then you are a safe distance behind the car ahead of you.
  2. Tires on the road: When you pull up behind a car to stop you should be able to see where the tires of the car in front of you hit the road. If you can't you are too close.
  3. Safely Past: If you are passing a car and you can see their bumper in the rearview mirror (not the left side view), you are safely past the car.

  4. Headlights On: When in doubt turn your headlights on for safety. Even if you can see everything on the road fine, it gives other drivers a better chance to see you.

  5. Know your car: Pay attention to how it sounds, drives and rides. This gives you a better chance to notice when something is amiss and may prevent you from being stranded, do permanent damage to your car or do damage to someone elses car (if something should fly off).


  6. Know How To Maintain Your Car: it doesn't hurt to include kids when you do maintenance to your car. You can even let them help in the process. This gets them started on a good habit.

Start sharing the rules of the car when they can drive regarding friends and music, cell phone, or anything else you deem important.

You start sharing this stuff on occasion now and it won't be like you are nagging them when they start to learn how to drive. Teenagers learning how to drive have one thing on their mind, "a driver's licensce means freedom". At that time, they may not pay that much attention to your helpful instruction.

By Suntydt from Tazewell, TN

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