Ease into teenage driving to keep kids safe

While the state says you must obey traffic laws to keep your driver’s license, it’s even more important for parents to establish "in-house" rules that must be followed for the teen to keep their license. Most states require that a parent or guardian sign for anyone under the age of 18. The state also allows you to revoke the license by withdrawing your signature. Understanding the risk involved in operating an automobile is important for parents so they can establish their own "in-house" rules.

Don’t Count on Driver’s Education

Just because your teen completes a driver’s education class, don’t think they are qualified or prepared to drive. Driver’s Ed might be a convenient way to learn the basics, but parents should know that most Driver’s Education classes do very little to prepare their child to survive on the road.

Learning to drive is an "our" experience and you’ll be surprised at what you learn as well. Before you start the car for the first time, stop and have your teen look at the dashboard and become familiar with the controls. Adjust the seat: the driver should be at least 12 inches from the steering wheel and arms should be bent slightly at the elbow when holding the wheel. Check visibility in the mirrors.

Unless you’re driving a "stick" or "standard" transmission, drive using one foot. The heel of the foot should be located on the floor between the accelerator and the brake pedal so the driver’s heel never leaves the floor. The foot should be able to shift to the left for the brake and to the right for the accelerator.

Most importantly, emphasize that the car never moves until EVERYONE is buckled up. It’s the law and must be an "in-house" rule, too. Violation of the seat belt rule should result in loss of driving privilege for a period of time.

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