Scanning the road is important. It makes your teen aware of the larger environment, prevents drowsiness and helps with anticipating issues before they happen. Most importantly, it helps reduce crash risk.
1. How to scan
Have teens scan down the road to get the big picture and see what they will encounter. They should look right and left. They should also look in all mirrors to see what is around and behind them.
Then have them scan the area directly around the vehicle to see if there are any immediate threats and whether it is safe to proceed. You can also ask “what if…” questions while driving with your teen. This can help with anticipating problems and creating defensive driving strategies.
2. Help with scanning
As teens are driving, ask them to point out every hazard and distraction along the way. Scan the road along with them. Keep track of any hazards they miss and note any other driving errors they make while they focus on scanning the road. Don’t say anything until the end of the trip.
3. Take your turn scanning
After discussing the experience, you should get behind the wheel and take your turn scanning. At the end of the drive, ask what you missed.
This is a great exercise to help you and your teen remain alert while driving!