Do you remember the times when you were a new driver? The freedom of the open road was something you looked forward to the experience. So does your child. Depending on their personality, their first road trips may be exciting or frightening experiences. Your child has to understand that they are not a seasoned road warrior and they should consider their first road trips as adventures but they have to be responsible when they are behind the wheel.
You have the role to prepare your child for their first road trips; they have to understand that when they are driving a vehicle, they can never be too safe. The more often they will hear driving tips from you, the sooner they will consider them their second nature, and they will end up being excellent drivers.
Here are some guidelines that will help you prepare your child for when they will hit the road.
Help them know their car
Before letting them go on their first solo trip, you should help them familiarize with their vehicle. Tell them what every control does and make sure they know where the signal lights are. Before handing them the keys of the car, you should have together two drive tests, one during the daytime and one during the nighttime. In case they will be pulled over, they will need to know that the car is working properly.
Also, it is crucial the new driver to know all the dashboard signs, because they could signal them a technical problem, that could put their safety in danger if they ignore it, because they have no idea what it means.
Put them some maps in their vehicle
In case the car does not come with a GPS system, or an app that helps them find their way, you should put some maps in the car, and instruct them how to use them. In case your child will drive out of town, it is crucial them to have the maps in the car, because they can easily get lost in an area where it is no phone signal, and they have to find themselves a way to get back on the main route. Also, they should in the vehicle have a road map of your city, it will help them know where they are if they ever get lost.
Check if the car has a complete safety kit
All drivers should have a complete safety kit in their car. It can prove helpful in countless situations, when the car breaks down, when they get involved in an accident, or when they get sick. It is important the safety kit to include candles (they are useful if the tires experience ice build ups), a spare tire, jumper cables, flashlights, road flares, batteries, a tire iron, kitty litter, windshields fluid, oil and some other things you consider useful.
Alongside with the above items, you should also put them in the truck a blanket, some snacks, a couple of bottles of water and some medicine.
Advise them to stay away from the major and interstates highways
Yes, they need to drive on all types of roads, but at first, it is advisable to stay away from difficult situations. It requires experience to drive on major highways, because they are agglomerated and people are driving at high speed. They can get to their destination if they take some alternative routes. Help them find these routes, and accompany them if you have the possibility.
Teach them how to react in case they get involved in an accident
A car accident is a traumatic experience for both new and experienced drivers. They should make sure that they and their passengers are safe, but they also have to know how to protect themselves from possible lawsuits.
- You should tell them that it is important to maintain their calm if they are dealing with this type of situation, they should take a few deep breaths before reacting in any way. Even if the only result of the accident is car damage, they should not leave the scene. If their tyres explode, for example, they should take the car out of the road and call a company that handles emergency tyre repair. Make sure they have the contact details of the mechanic when they leave the house.
- The most important thing they should do immediately after they experience the accident is to check if they, or someone else involved in the accident is experiencing injuries. If someone has pains or if they are unconscious, they should not move them until the medical personnel arrives. The only exceptions from this rule are the cases when the victims are exposed to further danger if they remain where they are.
- After they check the state of the other road participants, they should call the police, because it is essential to have an official record of the event, to protect themselves from possible disputes and lawsuits.
- They should collect information from the accident scene. They need to know the name and badge numbers of the police officers who come at the accident place. Also, they should ask the police to fill a report, because it will help them when they will make the insurance claim. In addition, it is important to take pictures of the accident, to show the damages their car and the other vehicles involved in the accident experienced.
They should pay attention to their driving and not to the passengers
If they are the first one who got their driving license from their group of friends, then their buddies will definitely ask them to drive them all over the place. It is important the new driver to understand that in order for them to be safe when on the road, they should not have fun with their friends, but they should pay attention to the road. Also, the music should not play too loud because it will reduce their attention. The new freedom they get with their driving licence comes with certain responsibilities. Do not allow them to get behind the wheel if you have doubts that they will not follow these guidelines.