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Teaching a teenager how to drive is a big responsibility, perhaps even bigger than driving itself. The lessons you give to your child are going to determine how safe he or she is behind the wheel. The better teacher you are, the better driver he will be. Before you jump into this unprepared, you need to know the most important pieces of information to relay in your lessons. Here are the top safe driving tips to teach your teen.

Watch the Cars Leading the Line

Rather than watching the cars that are directly in front of him, your teen needs to be aware of whoever’s leading the line. He may not be able to see this person at all times, but he should try to watch as far ahead of him as possible. This way, it won’t matter if the leading car slams on his brakes because your child will have time to react before everyone else. This will make him more aware of his environment.

Keep Distractions to a Minimum

Your teenager is liable to get distracted by the music on the radio and the people calling his phone. You need to make a point to minimize those distractions so he can focus on the road. Keep the phone in the trunk and turn the radio on the lowest audible volume setting. Then all your kid can listen to is your words of wisdom – and the occasional yell for help.

Come to a Complete Stop

Your teen is going to be tempted to do a “California roll” through a stop sign if he sees that no one is coming. You need to stop that habit right when it starts. It may seem absurd to fully stop when there is clearly no one on the road, but you never know when someone’s going to pop up out of nowhere. Defensive driving is always the best option.

Look before You Leap

Train your teen to always check his mirrors thoroughly before changing lanes, merging into traffic, pulling out of a parking lot, etc. Having keen observation skills is an important part of being a safe driver, and it is something that most people forget. As long as your teen keeps an eye out for other drivers, he should be able to avoid a serious accident. Help your child grow to be a safe, cautious driver, and you won’t have to worry about him being on the road.

Rita Gordania works with teens and parents to help drivers avoid serious accidents. If you have been in an accident already and need compensation for your injuries, start a whiplash claim today.