Its summer time and many teens are taking advantage of the break from school to take their Learner’s Permit course and get started on their driving practice. There’s nothing wrong with taking advantage of the extra time off and summer sunshine to practice new driving skills. However, summer isn’t quite as carefree as it seems. There are more fatal accidents during the 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day than any other time of the year. All drivers, especially new drivers, should take extra care to drive defensively this summer.
If you are a parent, consider setting important driving guidelines for your teens. To ensure accountability, you and your teen can sign a parent/teen agreement outlining the consequences for violating set rules. This sample agreement and other helpful parent resources are available on our website.
If you are planning to begin practicing with your teen driver this summer, focus on basic driving techniques and reinforcing good driving habits:
- Buckle up for safety.
- Practice driving in different weather conditions, and times of day. A new driver should have experience driving safely in both sunny and rainy driving conditions as well as some practice driving after dark. For more tips on driving in wet weather, check out our blog post “Spring Has Sprung – Drive Safe in those April Showers”.
- Hazard recognition is important. Keep your eyes on the road and practice scanning ahead to prepare for upcoming hazards such as animals crossing the road, potholes, construction zones and more.
And remember, teens often look to their parents or guardians for examples and will pick up on any of your own bad driving habits. Set a good example by turning off or silencing the ringer on your phone, keeping your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel, and maintaining a safe speed and following distance. Practice makes perfect!
© 2013 GDL Institute