I consider myself to be a good driver, but I moved to the city because I don’t particularly like to drive; the availability of public transportation here is more to my liking. My family, on the other hand, still lives in the ‘burbs where driving is an absolute necessity. My niece, Jane, is six years old and a pretty adorable kid. It terrifies me that she will one day—soon—drive. Maybe you think I’m ridiculous, but I don’t think any age is too young to begin learning about how to act safely in a dangerous machine like a vehicle.
Thinking about your child driving can be intimidating, especially when you consider the terrible statistics surrounding accidents. We’ve taken a look at the most highly recommended tips that will ensure proficiency behind the wheel. There are a few different tricks which, depending on your child’s personality and habits, will help ease your teen into becoming a conscientious driver.
Keep in mind that at this stage, your child is probably itching to get her hands on the wheel. Before rewarding her with this privilege, make sure to give her a brief run through on the dangers and staggering statistics on teen driving accidents. Make her understand that even the most experienced of drivers are not immune to accidents, so constant vigilance is the key to staying safe on the road.
Slowly but Surely
It is best to take it slow while your young driver is still slowly trying to build her confidence. Be extra patient and allow your child to drive at a slower speed until she becomes more comfortable behind the wheel. Give her ample time to become familiarized with the wheel, the engine, and the brakes. Just make sure to first find a deserted location, or an empty stretch of road, to avoid inconveniencing other drivers. Doing so also allows your child to feel more secure while not yet worrying about horns honking, traffic jams, or stop lights. Slowly immerse her into the basics of defensive driving and parking until she becomes more at ease. Once she becomes more confident, you can now graduate onto busier roads.
Step It Up
Your daughter will grow more accustomed to driving; that is when you can now introduce her to tougher road conditions to make sure she can get by on her own, no matter what. Start by letting her take the wheel during rush hour. Observe how she navigates through congested roads while still following traffic rules. Next, have her drive on freeways to monitor her speed and driving habits. When you feel that she is ready, have her drive at night and teach her the ins and outs of maneuvering through unpredictable road hazards that typically happen when the sun goes down.
Once I finished drafting this article, I immediately sent it off to my brother. His reaction was pretty much to laugh in my face. Jane’s only six, so it will be a while yet until she even thinks about driving. I had to glumly admit that I was overreacting, but this issue is one I care about greatly. Hopefully, you’ll share what you have read and help make our roads safer for everyone—because your niece or daughter will be on the road before you know it.
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