Teaching your teen to drive: Weathering the storm

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May 14 2014 / By DriveitHOME

Teaching your teen to drive: Weathering the storm

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 lessons are Nos. 6 & 7: Driving in rain – Parts 1 & 2

Driving in the rain: Part 1

Check that 10-day forecast for rain. When you see rain is forecast, plan a drive with your teen. Find an empty parking lot for this session.

Drive your teen to the lot, then let him or her take the wheel. Make sure your teen knows how to operate the windshield wipers and the lights. Teach your teen how the windshield defroster might help keep a clear view of the road.

Go through the Hard Braking exercise (Lesson 5) with your teen again. Have him or her tell you what feels different about the road in the rain.

Let your teen drive around, back up and make turns and stops on the wet surface. Encourage your teen to ask questions and be sure to give any tips that you think would help improve driving in the rain.

The primary risks associated with driving in the rain are reduced visibility and the possibility of hydroplaning. Remind your teen to avoid puddles and deeper bodies of water. Don’t do any rapid maneuvers, such as quick turns or lane changes. Brake gradually.

As a general rule, your teen will need to drive more slowly and stay farther behind vehicles in bad weather. Your teen should learn that if the brakes get wet, it will be harder to stop. Your teen will need to dry the brakes by gently using them at a time that is safe.

Driving in the rain: Part 2

More rain in the forecast?

Time to drive to an indoor destination with your teen; maybe to the mall, or an indoor activity like a movie, bowling, lunch or coffee.

With your teen behind the wheel, review proper operation of the lights, windshield wipers and defroster. Remind your teen that the headlights need to be on when it is raining – even in the daytime. Tell your teen to remember that it’s just as difficult for other drivers to see him or her as it is for your teen to see other drivers when it is raining heavily.

Find a destination you haven’t driven to before. Maybe there are a few different road types to drive over. The goal is to gradually introduce your teen to driving in different conditions on different road types under different lighting conditions under your watchful eye.

Also remind your teen that when it first starts to rain, he or she needs to be especially careful. The first drops mix with oils on the roadway to create especially slippery spots, and your teen needs to avoid deep puddles.

As a rule, your teen will need to slow down and anticipate stops, intersections and curves to avoid hydroplaning or skidding.

Visit DriveitHOME.org for more tips on how to help your teens become the best drivers they can be.

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