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How to Raise Good Future Drivers

If you're a parent, you're probably familiar with the term backseat driver. When I was still pretty young, I remember my mom constantly telling me and my sister to stop being 'backseat drivers' while she was driving. Ever opinionated, we always had something to say about our mom's driving, and decades later, now an experienced driver, as well as a mom, I find myself driving exactly the same way my mom did (and still does) in order to keep my family safe.

There's so much responsibility that comes along with driving. When I think about my own kids one day getting behind the wheel and taking off on their own adventures, I can't help but be a little frightened for their safety. My kids are ages eight and three, and I am finding that they, too, love to shout things at me related to my driving while I'm behind the wheel. Kids start to pick up on things at such an early age. I've found that by explaining how things in the car work, the rules of the road, and why I drive the way I do helps build a foundation for good future drivers. Even if your kids are very young, it's not too early to set the very best driving examples possible, so that they'll also be good and responsible drivers once it's their turn to sit in the driver's seat.

Here are four things you can do to raise good future drivers:

Set the safety standard

When you get into the car with your kids, say your mental checklist out loud as you're prepping to pull away. Repeat phrases like, 'seatbelts on,' 'check mirrors,' 'phone down,' etc. Make sure everyone is buckled in correctly and explain the importance of always wearing a seatbelt. This will help your kiddos understand not only state laws, but the importance of safety.

Limit distractions

Encourage your kids to talk quietly or engage in a quiet activity when they're in the car with you. It's important that they understand that drivers need to be able to concentrate and make quick decisions, and distractions such as loud talking or yelling, or blaring music and really hinder one's ability to react quickly.

Put the phone down

Most states have laws against texting and driving, and some states have even outlawed holding a phone in hand while driving. Follow the laws of your state, and if you need to make a call or send a text, safely pull over or park somewhere and explain your reasons for doing so to your little ones.

Follow the rules of the road

When your kids are old enough, they'll be the ones driving, and you'll be next to them in the front seat as they practice. They'll likely emulate what you do when you drive once they're at the wheel, so make sure that you understand and follow the rules of the road. Even simple things like using your turn signal, turning your headlights on when using your wipers, and such will help your kids understand the basic rules of driving.

Be sure to talk to your kids and explain how driving works. When they're very little, start with 'stop and go,' explaining the colors in traffic signals and what they mean, how stop signs work, and so on. It'll give them a very early basic foundation that they'll carry with them into their young adult years, and will ultimately help keep them safe once they're on their own and on the road.

This post brought to you by Lustine Toyota.

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