What your teen needs to know to drive smart
VANCOUVER, Aug. 18 /CNW/ - The weather is hot, school is out and now
your teenager wants to hit the road - in your car! In 2009, more than
50,000 teens got their first B.C. driver's licence.
Once your teen has passed a knowledge exam and vision test, they're
permitted to get behind the wheel - with some restrictions. However,
driving is especially risky when you lack experience as a new driver.
Not only are new drivers more prone to crash, one in four of their
crashes result in an injury or fatality.
Here are ICBC's top five tips to help you teach your teen how to drive
No. 1 - Set the right example: Driving lessons start
much earlier than you may realize - your children will observe your
actions and attitude from a very young age. To set a good example,
remember that most driving slip-ups result from lapses of attention -
stay away from anything that takes your mind from the road whether it's
food, coffee or make-up. And remember, it's not only dangerous but it's
now against the law to use a handheld electronic device while driving.
When your teen's in the learner stage, you'll get a copy of ICBC's Tuning
up for Drivers href="http://www.icbc.com/driver-licensing/getting-licensed/resources-manuals">
guide with their licence. Review it with them - it's a great hands-on
guide for new drivers and their supervisors. This is a good time for
parents to brush up on the rules of the road and work on any bad habits.
No. 2 - Get in the experts: It's certainly a good
idea to give your teen as much driving experience as possible, so
consider also giving them the opportunity to take some lessons with a
professional driving instructor. Many driving school courses include
classroom time and road safety theory. More importantly, a driving
school instructor can be objective without the emotion involved in many
parent-teen relationships. If you do choose this route, remember to stay
involved and discuss what they're learning.
No. 3 - Remember the restrictions: B.C.'s Graduated
Licensing Program (GLP) has helped lower the crash rate of new drivers
by ensuring they gain the driving experience they need in a more
controlled, lower-risk environment, and then expanding their privileges
as they become safer on the road.
As a parent, you should know the restrictions of the GLP and ensure that
your teen sticks to them. The newest restriction bans GLP drivers from
using cellphones and all electronic devices while driving, including
hands-free. Some of the other key restrictions of the novice stage are:
You must always display your green 'N' sign on the back of your
vehicle when driving.
You cannot drive with any alcohol in your body.
You are limited to one passenger (immediate family exempt) - unless
you are driving with a supervisor 25 years or older that has a valid,
full driver's licence.
No. 4 - Put it in writing: You may want to consider creating a
family contract and set of house rules www.icbc.com/driver-licensing/getting-licensed/for-parents/house-rules
that are in line with the GLP restrictions. Go to icbc.com and create
your own family contract http://www.icbc.com/driver-licensing/getting-licensed/for-parents/family-contract
that sets out your expectations of your teen, the responsibilities you
want them to show on the road, and the consequences for breaking those
rules. Like any contract, it should be a two-way deal - as a responsible
parent, you should agree to drive your teen home if they've been
drinking to stop them from being tempted to drive impaired.
No. 5 - Gearing up: The type of car your teen learns to drive on
can make a big difference. It's best to learn how to drive on a vehicle
that's a manageable size and has good visibility. Stick to an automatic
transmission until your teen has mastered the basics. A great way to
help build your teen's confidence is to start out on roads with less
traffic and avoid rush hour congestion.
As a final bonus tip, if you're letting your teen drive your car, don't
forget to check that you have the right insurance coverage for that kind
of use. If your vehicle is rated in an experienced rate class (all
drivers in a household with at least 10 years' driving experience) then
the rate class will need to be changed.
Visit icbc.com for more tips for parents www.icbc.com/driver-licensing/getting-licensed/for-parents/.
We also have great resources for teens like our video driving tips www.icbc.com/road-safety/safer-drivers/roadsense-tips,
which you can subscribe to online, as well as our online practice
knowledge test href="http://www.icbc.com/driver-licensing/getting-licensed/pass-veh/opkt#1225925766200">www.icbc.com/driver-licensing/getting-licensed/pass-veh/opktNo.1225925766200
for a learner's licence.
For further information: For further information:
Media contacts: Adam Grossman, 604-982-1332