Today we’re featuring lessons on how to know when you shouldn’t be driving, and how to avoid aggressive drivers.
Personal Driving Condition
Teens need to learn to recognize when it is not safe to drive. This week as you drive with your teen, try to spot drivers who should not be behind the wheel.
Talk to your teen about some of the reasons not to drive:
- If your teen is tired. Your teen should not drive if he or she really needs sleep.
- If your teen is emotional. Anger, frustration, worry, joy or excitement can take the mind off driving.
- Certain medicines might affect your teen’s driving. Remind your teen to read labels on all prescription and over-the-counter drugs for warnings.
- Remind your teen never to drink and drive or take illegal drugs. These substances affect judgment, reaction time and coordination.
- Uncorrected vision. If your teen forgets his or her glasses or contacts, it’s not safe to drive.
Driving really takes all of your senses and mental processes – sight, hearing, thoughts, concentration, maybe even smell. Anything that limits or impairs these functions makes driving more dangerous. Your teen should avoid getting behind the wheel if he or she is not in top form.
Aggressive and Other Unsafe Drivers
How do you know if someone is an aggressive driver, drunk, or driving in a way that is a threat to your or your teen’s safety?
Ask yourself: Is the driver speeding, or tailgating? Is he or she passing on the shoulder or making frequent and sudden lane changes? Is the driver weaving or disregarding traffic signals?
It is important to make sure your teen knows what to do to avoid aggressive drivers.
Get on the road this week and try to have your teen identify other drivers’ aggressive or problematic behaviors.
Scanning the road will help with this. Talk with your teen about what he or she sees. If your teen identifies an aggressive or other unsafe driver, make sure your teen puts plenty of space between the car and the other driver. If necessary, have your teen gradually slow down or pull over for a moment and let the aggressive driver travel ahead. At intersections, you or your teen should allow the aggressive driver through first to be on the safe side. During this time you may consider calling in and reporting the driver if you feel they are posing a threat to other drivers. Remember – don’t ever call when you’re driving.