The Batting Cage
When a baseball or softball player has a problem hitting the ball the coach does not try to fix it during a game, that is what the batting cage is for. The passenger seat is the batting cage for a New Driver.
Most teens do not pay much attention to us when we are driving, once the seatbelt is buckled they are on their phone until we arrive at our destination. They are Passive Passengers; it is time for them to become Active Passengers.
Begin by having them identify road signs, road markings, and pedestrians. Many drivers fail to notice signs, lane markings and pedestrians as they speed by. Suddenly they realize they are in the wrong lane and they missed their turn or the speed limit just dropped 20 mph and they have a police officer telling them to pull over. In 2013 a pedestrian was killed by a car every 2 hours and one was injured every 8 minutes…they were hit because drivers did not see them.
Make it fun, to see who spots the signs and pedestrians first!
New Drivers do not identify threats very well. They underestimate the seriousness of a threat and overestimate their ability to manage the threat. Helping them learn to identify and assess threats is as simple as you pointing the threats out to them as you drive.
Now along with having them identify signs, road marking and pedestrians they can start calling out the threats they see as well.
The earlier we notice a threat, traffic sign, road markings or pedestrian the more options we have in how we manage that information. We have all seen that driver who makes a sudden aggressive lane change because they were about to miss their exit or turn to put themselves and those around them at risk of a crash. Starting your New Driver off by having them develop the habit of noticing the important stuff early.