Young drivers look to their parents when it comes to driving behavior, according to a National Young Driver Survey. This parental influence shouldn’t be taken lightly. In an age where there are more aggressive and distracted drivers on the road than ever before, parents hold the key to a new age of driving—one that is safer.
As a leader in Missouri for teen driver safety, Doug Horn of the Horn Law Firm, P.C. is here to provide parents with the tools to provide a solid driving example and education for their teenagers. A huge part of Horn’s work is raising awareness of his Drive By Example platform, which encourages parents to set a good example for their children when behind the wheel.
How to Drive By Example
Setting a good example for your teen driver should actually start long before they reach the teenage years. The way you drive with your children in the car will influence how they act behind the wheel. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that novice drivers tend to learn the most about driving from their parents. For parents, this means that being a safe driver is paramount. Setting a calm, defensive example of driving when your children are young could lead to better driving behavior in your child’s teenage years.
At Horn Law, we encourage parents to exercise the highest degree of care every time they get behind the wheel. This means that you should always drive alert, buckled, cautious, and defensive—we call these the A, B, C, and Ds of driving.
With your children in the car, model coming to a complete stop at all stop signs and lights, obey the posted speed limit, always use your turn signal when changing lanes or turning, and leave a safe distance between you and the car in front of you at all times.
Another critical aspect of safe driving is staying focused on the road. Cell phones are a huge cause of distraction, especially for young drivers. We always recommend that parents teach their teens to put their phones out of sight while driving. By putting their cell phones in the glove box or center console, your teen will be less likely to pull it out and use it while they should be focused on the road. Keep temptation at bay by putting your phone away when you drive as an example for your teen.
As your teen’s lead influence behind the wheel, it is important to show your teenager different driving conditions. You can do this by varying your routes and driving at different times of the day. You should also think about weather conditions. When you are teaching your teen, you will want to provide the example and then let them experience adverse conditions themselves with you still there for guidance and support.
Importance of Providing a Good Example for Teen Drivers
Missouri doesn’t require driver’s education courses for teenagers, which means that parental example is vital. There is no denying that safe driving principles are essential lessons for teen drivers. Safe driving habits can prevent fatal car accidents from occurring on the roadways that we all use daily to commute to and from school and work, grocery stores, malls, the homes of our loved ones, and more. Instilling safe driving techniques at a young age can help us create a new generation of safe drivers.
Before your teenager ever gets their license, you can teach them that being a safe, courteous driver is necessary to keep everyone on the road safe. Stayed tuned for more blogs from Horn Law about preparing your teen driver for getting behind the wheel.