Your teenager just got her driving permit and now it's time to start driving lessons. Why have her take lessons from someone else? Well, maybe you aren't exactly jumping to take the passenger seat as your child is starting to learn. Or perhaps you're looking for an insurance discount. Maybe you would just rather have a pro help your teen to take the wheel. Whatever your reason is, the practical part of driver's ed classes provides plenty of lessons that are absolutely necessary before getting behind the wheel alone. This includes defensive driving. What is defensive driving and why does your teen need to know about it?
Defensive Driving Defined
Defensive driving is exactly like it sounds—driving defensively. Not everyone is careful and cautious when they're driving. You've seen it, the person 'driving' down a road while texting, trying to open a bag of chips, or spilling coffee all over him- or herself. When someone suddenly swerves, stops, or goes through a traffic light, defensive driving techniques can come in handy.
These techniques help your teen to calm down, think clearly, and know what to do in the event of an unexpected situation. They don't just apply to other people's carelessness. Defensive driving is something that a driver can use when coming up against a road hazard (such as a pothole or bump in the road) or inclement weather.
Expect the Unexpected
Being prepared is a major part of defensive driving. How can drivers prepare themselves for what's ahead? One way is to expect the unexpected. Obviously, your teen would have no clue that someone who just got stung by a bee while driving is swerving his way towards her. But she can get into the car knowing that unexpected situations can creep up quickly while she's driving.
Expecting the unexpected requires your teen to know what the possible dangers are on the road. It also means that she needs to stay alert and watch out for anything that's out of the ordinary.
Another part of defensive driving is learning how to drive distraction-free. Even though your teen may be tethered to her phone for 23 out of 24 hours a day, she needs to break free when she's driving. Texting, talking, or doing anything else that distracts her eyes from the road takes away from the alertness factor.
A defensive driving class during driving lessons can help your teen to understand the broad range of distractions—beyond texting. These include changing the station on the car's radio, looking at billboard, watching a person who's walking down the street, and an array of other activities that keep her eyes away from the road.
With her driving permit in hand, your child is ready to hit the road—at least, kind of ready. Learning about defensive driving from a professional instructor can help her to stay alert, distraction-free, and safe when she gets behind the wheel.