We ask that you encourage only safe driving practices. Student's will mimic parents. There are several resources for you to aid yourself and your student. The DMV has a Skills Test Guide that can help you to follow and enforce the standards required to pass a road test. Additionally, the Wisconsin DOT has put together a very nice Guide for Parents and Students.
Here are a few tips to help your teen to learn to drive safely. There are many mistakes and common errors students make and parents play a critical role in teaching. The 6 hours that KC's drives with your teen and the 6 hours that they observe, is simply not enough to teach them to be safe driver's. It take parents and KC's, working together to teach them effectively.
Proper positioning in the driver's seat
Have them take their time to adjust their seat, mirrors and steering wheel. Of course, make sure everyone is seat belted!
Point out the various car controls. Don't assume that they know how to use everything.
If it's the first time out, you may want to not have them back up the first time. Move your car to the curb and have them pull away going forward.
Start out in a quiet parking lot or neighborhood. It usually takes about 40-60 minutes for most students to get the basic level of control to begin to advance to more complex streets.
Try to use a calm voice and anticipate your instructions, giving plenty of notice. Be prepared to use words like "SLOW", "BRAKE", "EASY", "STOP".
Here is something you can post this in your rear window and other motorists will give you a break: STUDENT DRIVER DECAL
Driving in traffic
When moving into traffic always have them signal and check their mirrors and blind spot.
Students should always drive with both hands positioned on the wheel. We prefer a "9 and 3" position as it gives best control and provides clearance for an airbag deployment.
When the road is wide enough for two cars to drive side-by-side, treat the road as a multiple lane road. Make room for another car even if there are no lane markers.
When slowing to a stop have the student begin to to slow well in advance. Using gravity and gradual braking.
Always make a full stop at the proper location. Here is the order of stopping locations
Behind a stop line
Behind a marked crosswalk
Behind an unmarked crosswalk
Behind a sidewalk.
If no painted lines and no unmarked crosswalks stop prior to the first lane of traffic
There is a "rule of thumb" that says "stop even with the stop sign". That does work pretty well here in Wisconsin.
Turning at intersections
If turning signal 3 seconds or 100 feet in advance. Always include a mirror and blind spot check when you signal. Paying particular attention to pedestrians/cyclists on sidewalks.
When turning left always move to the mid-point of the intersection with your wheels straight (in case you get hit from behind). Yield to all oncoming traffic. LEFT GOES LAST!
When making a RIGHT TURN ON RED, always make a full stop and make sure there are no cars or pedestrians present.
When making a LANE CHANGE, always signal, make a mirror and blind spot checks and maintain a constant speed unless adjusting for a gap.
Teach student to "hold and release" their turn signal. It only takes a few flashes of the signal to let others know your intentions.
Teach DEFENSIVE DRIVING
Obey speed limits.
Obey traffic signs and signals.
Scan the road well ahead (at least 10-15 seconds)
Always look both ways at EVERY intersection and be prepared to stop!
Choose the best lane of traffic.
Always give yourself maximum distance between you and any potential hazard.
Check your mirror prior to braking.
When crossing or turning at busy intersections, use "commentary driving" (think out loud). Say out loud, "Clear Left, Clear Right"
Eliminate distractions. No cell phones, food or multiple passengers. Did you know that talking on a phone makes you up to 15 times more likely to have a collision. Also, teens with 3 or more passengers are up to 6 times more likely to have a crash.
MORE TO COME...