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Getting your teen ready to drive safely this spring

On Behalf of | Feb 28, 2024 | car accidents

As spring approaches, resulting in longer days and more opportunities for teens to be out and about, parents face the important task of ensuring that their young drivers are prepared to navigate the roads safely. 

This transition season between the extremes of winter cold and summer heat is an ideal time for parents to reinforce safe driving habits, especially as teens may be eager to hit the road free from the limitations imposed by winter conditions. If you’re the parent of a teen, employing any/all of the strategies below can help you to keep your teen safer as winter winds down. 

Emphasize the importance of defensive driving

Defensive driving is crucial for safety on the roads. During the winter, teens may be so focused on weather conditions that they forget to look out for other hazards that could lead to a crash. Encourage your teen always to be aware of their surroundings, anticipate the actions of other drivers and maintain a safe following distance this spring. 

Also, you’ll want to stress the importance of being prepared for unpredictable spring weather conditions, such as rain showers or fog, which can significantly impact visibility and road conditions. Just because dangerous winter conditions are winding down doesn’t mean that roads will always be free and clear of natural hazards. 

Limit distractions

With the increase in daylight and potentially more activities on their social calendars, teens might be more tempted than they were during the winter months to use their phones while driving. They could also – inaccurately – assume that it’s safer to use their devices now that winter conditions are melting away. 

Reinforce the importance of keeping their phones out of reach while driving to avoid the temptation to text or scroll through social media. Discuss the dangers of other distractions, too, such as loud music or too many passengers, and set clear rules about what is acceptable when they are behind the wheel.

Encourage safe speeds and following distances 

With the excitement of spring, teens might be tempted to drive faster. Remind them of the importance of adhering to speed limits and adjusting their speed according to road conditions. Also, stress the need for maintaining adequate following distances, especially on wet roads where stopping distances can be significantly longer.

It’s fairly easy to remember that driving safely in the winter is important because hazardous conditions tend to be obvious. By reinforcing good habits during the relatively temperate months of springtime, you’ll help your teen driver become a safer motorist year-round.