Parents are role models in every facet of their life. Your little ones are depending on your guidance, whether it is financial or moral. It’s easy to forget that driving falls into this category, too. Getting behind the wheel is such a regular part of life that it’s sometimes weird to think your kids are watching and imitating your behavior, especially the teenager in the passenger seat who is desperate to pass her test and gain some independence.
Instructors will get them through the practical part, but it’s you who will mold them in the long-term. With that in mind, here are some tips for setting a good example while driving.
Be Safety Conscious
Everyone has been a teenager behind the wheel of a car for the first time. The temptation is to care more about the music pumping through the stereo or their cell phones than to care about being safe. However, if safety rules are not followed, everyone knows that car and motorcycle injuries can easily happen. And, when an accident happens, we often ask ourselves, “What could we have done to avoid it?” Teenage drivers need to know safety as a practice. A lack of safety-consciousness from you could result in them being blase. Make a point of buckling up first, as well as adjusting mirrors and wearing a helmet, if on a motorcycle. Obey the speed limit, also.
Another motorist cuts you off, and you may let out obscenities. For plenty of drivers, this is a regular day at the office. Road rage isn’t innate though because it is controllable. Therefore, it is a habit that develops over time or from watching those around us. The worst thing about losing your cool behind the wheel with your kids in the car is that they may think it’s okay. Moms and dads don’t get angry, so when they do there must be a good reason. Teens can learn this, and so it gives them an excuse to act the same whenever they experience frustration on the road. Keep cool and carry on, especially if there is someone else in the car.
Follow The Rules
Experienced motorists often improvise because they are comfortable in the driver’s seat. While this may work for you, there’s a good chance that it will get a new driver into trouble. Think of resting your arm on the window ledge while cruising down the highway. Or casually going a couple of miles over the speed limit. Who hasn’t done 55mph in a 50mph zone? To stop kids from picking up bad habits, switch your driving style. Keep hands at eleven and one or ten and two, and never speed. Be a monk on the roads.
Granted, there will be times when things go wrong. In these situations, you are bound to react and lose your temper. Sometimes, the occasion gets the better of the greatest role models. Don’t make excuses. Instead, calmly explain what happened and why, and why they shouldn’t make the same error. Hopefully, detailing the incident should highlight the mistake ,and make it obvious that it shouldn’t be copied.
How do you act when your impressionable teen is in the car? Are you an angel or do you need to switch tact?