Watch for student drivers on the road
In a few weeks, the good people of Astoria, Warrenton and Seaside will see the Freedom Driver Education car everywhere. I'm hopeful that other drivers will be patient and courteous with our new teen drivers. Of course, if they're not, I can always use them as an example of what not to do.
Speaking of examples... I am so impressed by the great attitude I've seen in parents. People really understand the value of driver education, even if their kids aren't entirely convinced. Many parents have told me how grateful they are to have a program here in the Astoria / Seaside area again. Teaching teens how to be good drivers is one thing, but getting them to drive properly when they're not being watched? That's another. The example set by parents goes a very long way in motivating a teen's choices.
The curriculum for the teen driver course starts with basic skills and builds up to complex skills. Did you know that you use over 1,000 skills when you drive a car? You are controlling the vehicle while simultaneously processing all kinds of visuals into important information, then adjusting your control of the car. When you think about it, if you've gotten from Point A to Point B without a close call, you're a rock star!
If you're helping a young person learn to drive, you already know that modeling good driving habits is essential. Here are a few more tips that could help:
- Watch the learner's eyes. Eyes should be focused up and out toward the target area. Teens tend to look down at the road. Also direct the learner to check mirrors frequently.
- We can't see things we aren't looking for. Point out hazards that your teen might not recognize, such as how parked cars can block the line of sight.
- Practice basic maneuvers like starting, stopping and turning in a quiet environment where the learner won't be pressured by traffic.
- Keep practicing! It takes 1,000 miles of driving practice just to gain a basic mastery of driving.
- Consider a driver education course. It provides interactive, in-depth study and hands-on training.
So, we'll see you on the road!