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April 15, 2007

10 Rules for New Drivers

Jenny_trotselby Jenny Trostel, Owner, Saab of Baltimore

In 19 months and 5 days, my son will begin driving.  I know this because he reminds me everyday.  Since I own an automotive dealership, he repeatedly asks me what kind of car he will get when he turns 16 years old.  As I cringe, I tell him whatever he can afford.  But I know that is not the truth.  I know that I will break down and give him a very safe car and I will make sure that he has a lot of driving experience before I let him drive alone.  As a parent I know that this is a rite of passing that every parent fears.  I believe that my son is a good kid but he will make mistakes when he begins driving. 

I grew up in the automotive business.  My father was a dealer.  When I learned to drive, he said that if you are going to drive a car you should know how to fix one.  Luckily I was mechanically inclined and had a good teacher.  I learned the basics about a car from an early age.  Since many schools have such a limited budget, the basics of automotive maintenance are no longer taught when a teenager takes drivers education.  Not everyone has the same skills as I do, but you can still understand the basics. 

As a parent, I know that I can set a good example by having good driving and car maintenance habits.  There are basic rules that every driver should understand, so I have come up with the following 10 rules for new drivers:

As a parent, I know that I can set a good example by having good driving and car maintenance habits.  There are basic rules that every driver should understand.
I have come up with 10 rules for new drivers:

  1. Please be courteous to other drivers.  If we are to share the road, we need to be  polite to other drivers.
  2. Use your turn signals.  There is a reason that they are part of the car. 
  3. Know your car.  Learn from a service professional how to check your fluid levels and tire pressures.
  4. Learn how to change a flat tire.  AAA won't always be there quickly.
  5. Use the appropriate type of gas for your car.  Wash your windows when you fill up.
  6. Choose your music before you drive away.  Many accidents occur when the CD is being changed.
  7. Go to a professional driving school.  You will get more experience in dealing with hazardous or difficult driving conditions.  Professional driving schools don't teach you how to be Speed Racer, they teach you to be a good driver.
  8. DON'T Drink and Drive.  No sodas, milkshakes, or other beverages.
  9. If your cell phone rings, pull over before answering the call.  It is difficult enough keeping the car on the road without having that distraction.
  10. Thank your parents!  Lots of love and understanding gave you the privilege of driving.

Ap_teen_drivers When the day comes that my son gets behind the wheel of a car, I want him to enjoy the road not fear it.  I know that I will be as nervous as any other parent in 19 months and 5 days. But when that day comes and he drives away by himself, I hope that my son will have learned to be courteous and safe in his driving habits.   


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