As a mom, there are probably some lessons that you know you’re going to teach your kids along the path toward adulthood. Maybe you’re looking forward to imparting some gems that you learned yourself or others that your parents passed on to you. Part of being a parent is molding a child in your image, and you want to be sure that they act maturely and responsibly.
That applies to many parts of their life, including driving. There are driving lessons that you can teach your teenager that relate to broader lessons you may have already taught them. We’ll go through some of those now.
Watch for Pedestrians and Cyclists
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention mentions that almost 129,000 people visit emergency rooms every year because of pedestrian accident injuries. As a parent, you might have already taught your child how to ride a bike years ago. You also may have enjoyed going on strolls through your neighborhood for exercise.
You’ve taught your child to enjoy the great outdoors, whether they’re on foot or on a bike. While doing so, you surely taught them to look both ways before crossing the street, since cars are bigger and faster than them.
Now, the shoe is on the other foot, and it’s your teen who’s behind the wheel. They know how nice it is to enjoy a safe neighborhood while biking or walking.
They can think about that while they’re driving as well. Since they have been cyclists and pedestrians themselves, it makes sense that they should respect these individuals when they encounter them driving through suburban neighborhoods.
Come to a Complete Stop at Stop Signs
This lesson applies when you’re teaching them good stop sign etiquette as well. Some drivers will only do the “rolling stop” when they come to a stop sign. They slow down, but they don’t halt the vehicle completely.
That can cost your teen driver some points on a driving test, but they want to avoid that habit even once they have their license. If they stop entirely when they see a stop sign, that gives anyone crossing in front of them ample opportunity to clear the vehicle’s path before your young driver continues on their way.
They might come to an intersection and execute a rolling stop, thinking that is sufficient. Maybe they don’t see any pedestrians or cyclists coming, so they’re fine tapping the brakes without halting the vehicle fully.
A pedestrian or cyclist can come out of nowhere, especially during foggy, snowy, or rainy conditions. A cursory rolling stop won’t cut it, and you can teach your teen driver that. Stopping completely might save a life or keep them from getting in an accident.
There’s the saying “slow and steady wins the race.” When you’re teaching your teen to drive, you might bring up the way you taught them to do their homework or how to study for a test.
You probably taught them to do their homework meticulously, so they would not make any mistakes. You likely taught them how to study for a test the same way, reviewing and re-reviewing the material until they were sure they had it memorized.
It’s the same way when they’re driving. Going the speed limit and never exceeding it is the way to get to where they’re going safely, just as doing so in their classes will get them a good grade. If they speed, they open themselves up to make mistakes, either on the road or in their academic life.
Don’t Allow Friends to Distract Them
If you have a teen driver who gets their license, they are probably very excited to borrow the family car every once in a while. They might be even more thrilled if you pass down your older vehicle to them or purchase a used one for their exclusive use.
Their friends will probably feel some excitement as well. This is likely the first time they can go to the movies or the mall by themselves.
What your teen has to remember when they are driving is not to let their friend in the passenger seat or the back seat distract them. They are not very experienced yet, and they need to keep their eyes on the road.
This is just the same as if their friend wanted them to come out and play, but they had homework to do. Having friends is great, but you need to impress on your young driver that they should not allow that friend to distract them at a critical moment. If they do, they might get in a deadly accident instead of failing a pop quiz for which they should have studied.
Don’t Allow a Smartphone to Distract Them
As a mom, you might have fought with your child about when you would allow them to have a smartphone for the first time. Experts don’t always agree about when the best time is to let your child get one. Most kids want one at younger and younger ages, though, since they might know someone who has one, and they want one as well.
Whenever you chose to get your child a cell phone, they’ll likely have one by the time they start driving. You should tell them never to talk on their phone or text on it while they’re behind the wheel. They should turn their phone off and put it in a pocket or bookbag while they’re in the car.
It’s the same as not letting that phone distract them while doing their homework or chores. You agreed to let them have it, but you probably told them they’d have to be responsible with it.
As you can see, many driving lessons can be extensions of lessons you already taught your kids. As a parent, you can tie various situations into one another. You can apply much of what you taught your kids about conducting themselves generally to driving situations that arise.