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Top 10 Tips for Parents

1. Be a role model
Lead by example: Drive safely and stay calm. Don’t text. Wear your seatbelt.
Be courteous to others.  

2. Go above and beyond
Calling other road user names, no matter how bad their activities may seem, may lead to your children being nervous and lacking conference behind the wheel, and can lead to road rage, roads are crowded, there is limited space.

3. Understand the meaning of GDE matrix
Supporting research indicates that traditional approaches to driver training are too limited as they tend to focus too narrowly on vehicle skills (level 1 of the matrix) and the ability of the driver to integrate with traffic (level 2). However, as we all know driving does not take place in a vacuum, the context of the trip (covered in level 3) impacts on how we integrate with traffic and above all this in the matrix is our personal beliefs and personality (level 4). A simplistic example would be a sales rep who is highly motivated by success (Level 4) trying to squeeze in an extra appointment, this increases the time pressures (level 3) this in turn means that they are more likely to look for opportunities to proceed (level 2) and thus increase the demands made on their car skills (level1).

The other really important element is the Self-evaluation column which links into coaching perfectly.

4. Choose a driving school that’s right for you
Move away from the “get your license in 5 minutes” philosophy. Education only works if there is time for practice and reflection.

5. Do a “Head Check”
Before you get in your vehicle, take a minute to talk to each other about how you are feeling. Help your teen think about potential risks before they drive (night-time, social context, being in a hurry, passengers and distractions, emotional situations). If there is anything that could affect their concentration when driving, do they really need to drive?

6. Discuss route plan in advance

Discuss time allotment, traffic and road issues – keeping focused on safest road decisions at all times. Walk your teen through the decisions you make not only in the vehicle but before getting on the road.

7. Teach children teen how to maintain his or her vehicle
Make a check list of what to look for before you get in the car. Tire pressure, amount of gas, and brake maintenance are a few items your teen should be familiar and comfortable with.

8. Your son/daughter should know it’s okay to say “no”
Encourage your son/daughter to speak out if they feel unsafe as a passenger.
Have a plan in place for when your child needs alternate transportation.

9. Distractions don’t belong in the car
It’s important to show your child that most things can wait until you have arrived at your destination.

10. Create and sign a Parent-Teen Contract
Set terms between you and your son/daughter that you agree to as he or she becomes a driver. Remember, driving is a privilege, not a right.

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