It’s not surprising that road rage is the cause of nearly one in every three crashes in the U.S.
Impatient driving increases your teen driver’s risk in two ways:
- Impatient, distracted, and rushed drivers make mistakes and can cause accidents and injuries to vehicles and drivers around them. Your teen, lacking experience on how to behave or react to another driver driving with road rage, may become flustered, make their own mistakes, or become the victims of a road rage accident even though they were driving safely.
New to driving, your teen may run into driving scenarios that they do not know how to safely handle or maneuver around. They may speed, drive in a rush, or get distracted behind the wheel. They themselves can cause an accident due to their impatience.
- Making patience a priority while driving can help your teen driver be more alert, react appropriately to others’ unsafe driving habits, and avoid accidents and injuries when driving.
When we say driving with patience, there are of course different levels of distractions or impatience.
Tailgating another car is an example of minor distraction or impatience. Speeding and swerving into an oncoming lane to pass another car is a more severe example of road rage.
No matter the severity, impatient driving can cause an accident even if it’s the smallest degree of impatience or distraction.
How many times have you looked at your phone for a split second and nearly got into an accident?
Teaching your teen to drive with patience as a priority can help them form safe driving habits. The key here being “a habit.”
It’s one thing to tell your teen driver to drive a certain way, be careful, or pay attention to the road. But I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about making driving patiently a household priority. Something that can be discussed between family, a dinner conversation.
How do you coach your teen driver to drive with patience?
There are two main ways to make patience a priority for your teen driver:
- It starts with you, setting an example and driving without distractions, driving patiently, and never speeding or making illegal maneuvers. Whether you realize it or not, your child sees and hears everything you do behind the wheel and registers it, far before they get a driving permit.
- Making patient driving a household priority by following what I call the ABC&Ds of driving. Driving Alert, Buckled, Cautious and Defensive.
Here are some things you can do to help your teen driver drive more patiently:
- Teach them to observe speed limits.
- Practice driving on progressively more difficult roads.
- Make a habit of planning a trip beforehand so they have enough time to arrive at their destination and don’t need to hurry or speed.
- Coach them on how to reach when a car is speeding behind them, aggressively driving, or too close to their car.
- Maintain a safe driving distance between cars.