5 Worst Driving Habits Parents Pass to Their Teen
We know you have good intentions and you're only passing on what you know, right? Perhaps you've only been in a few collisions or none at all. Regardless of your skill level, many parents unknowingly and not intentionally pass on bad driving habits to their teens -habits that can cost your teen their life or someone else's life.
Below is not a comprehensive list of bad habits passed on - they are the top 5.
#1 Mirror Adjustments
You're kidding, right? How hard is it to adjust your mirrors to see behind the vehicle? Thats the issue...all of the mirrors shouldn't be adjusted to see behind the vehicle. Actually, just the rear view mirror should be adjusted to see rear zones.
We understand that parents are just passing on what they were taught, but knowledge changes and if your teen is adjusting their mirrors the way you were taught in driving school, they are setting themselves up for risky lane changes and an inability to have a 360 degree zone awareness and zone control to react quickly and appropriately in an emergency situation.
#2 Seat, Steering Wheel, Hand Position and Foot Adjustments
Make sure you're comfortable and can reach the brake and gas pedals, right? There is so much more to fitting yourself to the car for safety than what most people know or think about.
For example, how many inches should you be away from the steering wheel to minimize injury caused by the air bag? Does it matter where the steering wheel is positioned? How high or low should the seat base be adjusted, or the seat belt, or the head rest? Should you align your foot with the gas or the brake pedal?
These are all very important questions that many parents simply either don't know the answer too, or they forget to explain to their teen how these adjustments increase or decrease their risk for injury during a crash.
#3 Steering Methods
Most parents were taught hands should be placed at 10 and 2 when they went through drivers education. So much has changed since then and teaching this hand position not only increases a teens risk of injury during a crash, it actually doesn't provide them the ability to prevent the crash in the first place.
Hand position directly relates to steering methods. The steering method we teach is Shuffle Steering. It's a method that allows for increased control of the vehicle, emergency steering at any second and decreases injury to the student's face if involved in a crash where the air bag deploys.
#4 Lane Changes
As a seasoned driver, parents change lanes without much dedicated thought - meaning the task of changing lanes is smooth and can be done quickly. What about a new driver? Lane changes for a teen driver is one of the riskiest maneuvers they perform. Without a systematic way of changing lanes, teens are left to guess if the lane next to them is open or closed and then hope they saw every vehicle before making a lane change. Their focus becomes lopsided between the IPDE process and making a lane change.
At Freedom Drivers Ed, our instructors teach students a very detailed, step by step process to make safe and risk free lane changes that incorporates their proper mirror adjustments (that we teach), steering methods (that we teach), and zone control methods (that we teach). All three are needed to formed into habit to decrease crash risk.
#5 Inattentiveness / Distracted Driving
We know parents understand the risks of driving distracted and the last thing you'd want your teen to do is text and drive or update their social media. However, are your habits reflecting your desires for your teen? Teens watch their parents and do what they do. Teens will mimic their parents behaviors and parents who use their cell phone while driving are not only breaking the law, they are also communicating to their teen that its an acceptable behavior. We beg you - please put the phone down. Actually, please be intentional to store it away in the center console or glove box.
Your life, your teen's life and other lives depend upon it!
We don't write these articles to bash parents. We know that most parents are doing the best they can with the knowledge and resources they have. We write these articles to bring awareness and change the current driving culture and statistics.
Car crashes are the number one killer of teens ages 16-19. This statistic is preventable and our mission to change. Please see the value in partnering with a quality driving school to best train your teen on known skills that will lower their crash / ticket risk.
Please take the time to invest in your teen's future by researching each school prior to committing to a partnership with them. Click here to view our article that details specific questions that should be asked of every driving school!
To learn more about who we are, what we offer and our expertise, please visit our website at freedomdriversedcolorado.com