For those of you who follow me, you are well aware that my most recent challenge has been teaching my son to drive. He is the second teen I have taught to drive; his sister got her license a year ago. And judging by my cuticles, it’s a good thing I have just the two kids.
My daughter Casey and son Cole are two totally different kids with different temperaments and personalities. Teaching them to drive has been an interesting experience, due in large part to those differences.
Casey behind the wheel
Casey always exercised an abundance of caution on the road. Cole also is cautious, but he has never lacked confidence and that, frankly is a little unnerving for me. He is a good driver but he’s inexperienced which is why I’m taking Progressive’s Drive Safe Today Pledge to continually remind both of my teenage drivers of the 5 following safety precautions:
Teaching Cole to drive
- ABSOLUTELY NO DRINKING AND DRIVING! I’m an eternal optimist; I’m also pragmatic and though I would like to think kids are not out partying, statistics tell a different story. Like my mother did with me, I make sure Cole knows that no matter where he is, all he has to do is call. I will get up and come get him, which is infinitely safer than getting in the car with someone who has been drinking.
- NO TEXTING AND DRIVING! Oh my goodness. These kids and their smart phones. I’m telling Cole that when keys are in the ignition, the phone goes in the glove box. There is no message so urgent (even from his mother) that is worth his life or that of someone else.
- SLOW DOWN! I love my boy and his confidence but there are simply situations that can and do arise on the road that he is not prepared for. Before I turn over the keys I remind him to just take it down a notch; from getting in the car, adjusting the mirrors, the seats and his speed on the road.
- BE A DEFENSIVE DRIVER: We live in a small town with mom and pop businesses in the downtown area. I explain to Cole that even though he has the right of way, he needs to expect the unexpected. From dogs breaking off leashes to little kids darting out into the roadway he needs to be ready.
- LIMIT THE NUMBER OF KIDS IN THE CAR: I remember my mother telling me as I held my newly minted driver’s license, that I could only drive with one other kid in the car. Back then; I thought she was a mean mommy; now I think she was a well-meaning mommy. She was so smart that I have now adopted the same approach with my kids. For the first year of driving, they will not drive with more than one friend in the car.
These are just a few of the messages that roll off my tongue when I’m driving with my son. I think sometimes he, gives me the, “Yeah mom” just to shut me up. So I’m going to use Progressive’s Drive Safe Today Day to help him remember.
On September 3rd, 2015 Progressive Insurance is going to ask drivers to take a pledge to drive safer. I’m going to have Cole take it and heck I’ll do it myself too. We’ll also enlist his older sister who, though she’s been driving a year, could use the reminder too.
So much of being a safe driver is just being aware; imagine how many accidents and near misses we could avoid if people just used the day to be more aware?
Won’t you join Progressive’s Drive Safe Today Day and take the pledge?
This post was written in partnership with Progressive Insurance. I have been compensated, but the thoughts and ideas are my own. For additional driving safety tips, check out Progressive’s Drive Safe Today Day program.