Obtaining a driver’s license and the freedom to which it leads is a coming-of-age hallmark for many American teens. It is an exciting time for teens and a worrisome time for parents. Taking driver’s education courses that include defensive driving techniques is crucial to the safety of teen drivers throughout their driving careers.
What is Defensive Driving?
Defensive driving utilizes safe driving strategies that help drivers address driving and potential road hazards in a predictable manner. These techniques are more than just basic traffic laws and courteous driving. When defensive driving is included in driver’s education, teens can learn how to anticipate certain situations and how to make quick but safe decisions about their driving behaviors.
Benefits of a defensive driving course are both long and short-term and include:
- Saving money by reducing insurance premiums by as 10 percent
- Confidence while driving
- Reducing the risk of an accident
- Reducing fines and points
The Benefits of Starting Early
Teens are quick learners and usually retain more of what they learn and practice now than in later stages of life. Enrolling your teenager in a defensive driver course now will help them to learn techniques that they can use and remember both now and for many years to come. Practicing these skills with other experienced drivers, whether they are parents or professional instructors, can help solidify muscle memory and other pathways in the brain, turning them into useful permanent driving skills.
These driving sessions give new drivers an opportunity to ask questions and learn techniques in a supervised environment. They can also help boost a teen driver’s confidence in making the right decisions while they are on the road without supervision.
First Things First
Before a new teen driver even gets behind the wheel of a vehicle, they should be well-versed in the rules of the road. A comprehensive overview of these rules will help ensure that your teen is prepared to be behind the wheel and know how to drive defensively. Once they are familiar with these rules and have the knowledge of what to do in a variety of driving situations, they will be better candidates to get practice in a vehicle.
Teaching Risks and Consequences
No matter your age or driving experience, it is easy to become complacent and forget how dangerous operating a motor vehicle actually is. New drivers need to be aware of how their actions can have a significant impact on their safety as well as the safety of others on the road. In fact, some nervousness is a good sign in a teen driver, although you do not want them to be so nervous that it impacts their ability to focus on driving safely.
Recognizing the consequences of specific actions can be neurologically challenging for most teenagers due to the natural development process of their brains. By providing your teen with formal defensive driving education, you can help them understand how serious certain driving situations and accidents can be, such as DUI. Learning about how common yet serious accidents can happen, how they can be prevented, and the consequences they lead to can help teen drivers be more motivated to learn and practice defensive driving techniques.
Everyone can benefit from a defensive driving course and applying the techniques that they use to their regular driving habits, especially newly-licensed teen drivers. If you have a teen who will soon be ready to hit the road, be sure to enroll them in a driving course that includes defensive driving strategies.
Guest post: Olivia Parker, a legal writer for Blair Ramirez in Los Angeles.
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