by Sharlyn Petit
Recently, online driver training company eDriving conducted a survey asking 200 drivers-ed instructors to list the top three mistakes they observe during behind-the-wheel lessons.
How many of these have you seen while logging hours with your teen?
- THE MISTAKE: Cockpit confusion. Mistaking turn signals for the wipers? Getting frazzled by all of the different symbols for defroster vs. heat vs. hazard lights? There’s a lot to think about behind the wheel, including the functions of dozens of controls.
THE COACHING MOMENT: Take extra time before starting the car to run through different scenarios of when the driver may need to tinker with controls. Also, be sure to review the control differences between multiple family cars and check the setup on rear and side-view mirrors before each trip.
- THE MISTAKE: Forgetting about blind spots. The mirror, signal, head-check routine should develop into second nature for teen drivers. Blind spots are everywhere – merging, changing lanes, backing up – don’t get lazy!
THE COACHING MOMENT: Be a good example yourself and try pointing out the behaviors while they happen, and reinforce when the routine is done correctly. “OK – let’s change lanes. What are the steps? Mirror, signal, head check.”
- THE MISTAKE: Not using turn signals. Another time not to get lazy – you have turn signals for a reason, so use them! Even if you think you’re the only one on the road, or it’s obvious that you’re turning, make it a habit that sticks.
COACHING MOMENT: Again, model the behavior by always using turn signals yourself. When your teen is approaching a turn, call attention to the point where their signal should be turned on. “OK – take the next right. When should you turn on your signal?”
Were you surprised by any of those mistakes, or have you seen others more frequently?
For more information about eDriving, their driver education courses, and the driver instructor survey, click here.