Defensive Driving For Teens
Helping your teen see the bigger driving picture
Watching our teenagers take their first solo drive is a quantum leap from the time they rode off on their bikes without training wheels. And, while we can’t control what goes on out there on the roads, we can get some peace of mind by investing in defensive driving for our rookie road- users.
Eventually, teenagers are going to grasp and gather their independence and be hitting the road for work, study, sport – you name it - so how can they become responsible drivers?
What’s defensive driving?
While there’s no denying the sobering facts around young people and driving in New Zealand, teenagers can reduce the risk by learning to drive defensively.
Concentrating on the road and the surrounds is the name of the game and at the core of defensive driving is learning to see what lies ahead, commonly referred to as the ‘big picture’.
The ability to identify hazards whether obvious or imminent, strategies to remain alert and refreshed as well as practical driving tips to maximise safety are all taught in defensive driving courses run throughout New Zealand.
‘What’s in it for me?!’
You might discover that finding a nearby course is easier than convincing your beloved teen to attend. Luckily, there’s a very large carrot to dangle. Successfully completing a defensive driving course will shorten their path to a restricted or full licence by six months. Slipping that wee nugget into the conversation should seal the deal as quickly as they’ll go for the keys.
WAIT THERE’S MORE! AA statistics also prove that people who undertake a defensive driving course are 10% more likely to pass their practical driving tests.
Extra homework? What IS taught in a defensive driving course?
Using state-of-the-art online technology, students are exposed to real-life scenarios filmed on New Zealand roads over four two-hour classroom sessions. Learnings and observations are discussed before the student is tested in-car and given a one hour practice of the full licence test so the real thing can be passed with confidence.
In addition to the practical and classroom theory, participants also receive access to online learning, which utilises the technology to focus on situational awareness to limit the risk of accidents.
There can be no real substitute to experience on New Zealand roads but everyone has to start somewhere and nine hours is all it takes to become a safer and more confident driver.
What can Mum and Dad do to create safer drivers?
Unfortunately we can’t escape the fact that the first 6-12 months of a teenage driver’s evolution is the most fraught but by preparing them as best we can, we’re lending a priceless helping hand. Parents have a treasure-trove of driving experience and imparting any knowledge is invaluable. When travelling with your enthusiastic young apprentice, try and put emphasis on these things:
- Their level of speed and acceleration
- Point out hazards, potential or existing
- Give advice on changing road condition, night driving and how physical factors can impair driving
- Help develop strategies for distractions like passengers, gadgets and loud music
- Set your ground rules for car use that driver and parents can agree to
- Lead by example when driving yourself Safe driver…..safe car?
Winning the timeless battle of which car is cool and which is practical might be one for another day but at City Motor Group we can at least offer a wide range of ‘appropriate vehicles’ for your teenagers heading out into the world. Hatchbacks and smaller model sedans are great for several reasons; fuel economy, ease of inner city parking, ease of cleaning and smaller engines reducing the dangers of excess speed.
Any of our helpful sales professionals can help you choose the most suitable car for your budding driver and you can read up on vehicle safety with our previous article Finding the Safest Car is at your Fingertips.
Our offspring are going to spread their wings at some point in time so preparing them as best we can for the open road with a defensive driving course is a wise choice.