Coaching your teen driver: Do you follow me?

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Jan 28 2014 / By DriveitHOME

Coaching your teen driver: Do you follow me?

Are you teaching your teen to drive but not quite sure where to begin? DriveitHOME can help! We’ve developed practice tips and lessons for each week of the year so your teen’s learning process can be as smooth as possible. The lessons are a simple click away and, just like that, you’re on track to teaching your teen to drive – the right way.

Today’s lesson, part 1 of 2, explains how to teach your teen driver proper following distances.

Following Distance (Part 1)

You probably covered this when your teen was first learning to drive – during the permit phase. But now that your teen has a license, you won’t always be there to let him know if he is following too closely. Remind your teen he needs a cushion around the car… both in front and behind.

How do teens tell if they have that cushion? Get in the car with them, go for a drive and show them!

To test if the distance is about right, spot some marker along the road. When the car in of you front passes that marker, start counting. At least 3 seconds need to pass before your car passes that marker. If so, your teen is following at the correct distance. Remember, 3 seconds is what you need as a minimum distance.

Be sure your teen is watching who is driving behind him as well.

If someone seems a bit close (tailgating) or is on the phone, your teen should slow down (not slam on the brakes – just take the foot off the gas) and let the other driver pass. People talking on phones are less likely to stop in time for unexpected events.

If someone cuts in front of your teen, remind him not to slam on the brakes or swerve out of the way (unless it is the only way to avoid a collision). The better way is to slow down by taking your foot off the pedal.

Finally, remember trucks and motorcycles can’t stop as quickly as cars. Keep more distance, and avoid driving in the blind spot of other drivers.

There will be many aggressive drivers your teen will encounter during the course of their lifetime, but these kind of defensive techniques will help keep them safe.

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