Earlier this week I was able to attend the Rockford, IL Drive It Home event that focused on teen and safe driving. As the mother of three young adults (ages 14-20) none who are driving yet, I thought it would be a fantastic opportunity for us all. Tori, Kirk and I have hit the road a couple of times in the past months for some serious driving practice. It’s scary out there and I was excited to attended and hoped to get a little information on how to keep my precious cargo safe once they hit the road.
|Me and My Teen Drivers|
We learned several great tips to keep in mind during our own driving practice, such as the need to spend at least 30 minutes each week with each new driver behind the wheel.
Practice specific skills together and provide teens with calm and useful feedback in the following critical areas:
- Scanning the road ahead to recognize and respond to hazards.
- Controlling speed, stopping, turning and following distance.
- Judging the gap between vehicles in traffic – such as exiting parking lots and left-hand turns.
- Managing the highest risks, such as night driving and driving with young passengers.
Did you know that only 17% of Illinois parents realize a teen’s lack of driving experience is the top cause of crashes? Parents say it’s very important for their teen to learn a variety of skills behind the wheel, but they just aren’t teaching their kids to manage the highest risk driving situations like rain, and snow or being on the expressway.
What struck me most at the event was the importance of teens learning how to be good passengers as well as good drivers. I know that I’ve heard my son talk about his friends not being good passengers when in the car (Trent, I’m talking to you) and that at times it’s made my my son feel unsafe. It’s important that new drivers have a calm and supportive environment to drive in, because emotion and inexperience can be some of the very most dangerous barriers that they face when it comes to getting home safely in the car.
At driveithome.org, parents can sign up to receive weekly driving practice tips and suggestions via e-mail, and print, discuss and sign a Parent-Teen Driving Agreement. They may roll their eyes, but ultimately it’s better to get everyone’s expectations out there at the beginning so that driving practice in your family will be something to look back on fondly.
You can find more information on safe teen driving at the following resources!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.