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Teaching teens to drive in all kinds of weather

The time-honored tradition of teaching your teenager to drive can be stressful at times, which is one of several legitimate reasons why Driver’s Education training schools are so popular… well, that and the insurance discounts that come with passing the course.

When patient parents and paid professionals come together, new driver’s benefit with improved driving skills and defensive driving techniques.

But both the paid professionals and parents have some additional struggles in teaching teens to drive in Canada thanks to our huge variation in weather conditions.

Obviously, most of us prefer early lessons to take place in the best weather conditions possible. It makes it easier to get a feel for the vehicle and develop a certain level of comfort behind the wheel before adding in the additional challenges of low visibility, icy conditions or a host of other stressors. So, once that basic level of comfort has been achieved, it’s prudent to ensure your young driver can handle the conditions they will eventually encounter as driving Canadians.

Now, most of us will immediately think about the snow and ice that accompanies out winters, but there’s more to worry about than that. Most driver’s education programs include lessons on dealing with extreme sun and wind and driving at night until they get real-life experience.

Here are some simple driving tips for teenagers to prepare for the unexpected while on the road.

How to drive in reduced visibility

Fog: Teenagers should practice switching between headlights and high beams to understand how light reflects off the fog and how to prevent further obstructing their visibility.

Glaring sun: Blinding sun can make it impossible to see what’s ahead of you. Teens need experience adjusting visors, driving with sunglasses on, and slowing down.

Nighttime: Many learners’ permits have restrictions for driving at night, often between midnight and 5 a.m., because it can be challenging to drive in the dark. Teens should adhere to the class restrictions until they have enough experience to drive at night. Show your teen what each light setting does.

Driving in wet and wintry conditions

Snow and ice: Slowing down can maximize traction in snow and ice. Help your teen learn how to brake slowly and evenly in these conditions to prevent them from spinning out of control later.

Rain: Wet roads can be slippery, and heavy rain on the road can cause hydroplaning. Teach your teen to work with these conditions, not against them. It’s best to ease off the accelerator to allow the engine to slow rather than applying the brake.

Driving at highway speeds or in traffic

Slow traffic and congestion: It’s important to teach your teen about reaction time, maintaining enough space, and easing on and off the brakes to help prevent them from rear-ending other drivers — factor in different vehicles to prepare for defensive driving techniques.

Highway speeds: When your teen moves up the graduated licensing system and can drive on highways, practice merging with traffic at higher speeds and preparing to exit off-ramps. Once they’re comfortable, combine these lessons with other risk factors, including reduced visibility and worsened weather conditions.

Start each lesson gradually before combining risk factors, such as worsened weather conditions, to help your teen get as much experience as possible under your supervision.

Helping your teenager become a better driver can ensure they keep their driving record clean and their auto insurance premium low. And by working with them in all conditions, you’re not only giving them the valuable experience they need, but you’re helping keep them – and the roads – safer.

If you’re looking for a quote to insure the new driver in your family, the brokers and CSRS at DPM Insurance Group are here to help. Click here to find the office most convenient for you: https://dpmins.com/locations/


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