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Rules of the road: Set a good example for teen drivers

Posted on Monday, May 18, 2015 at 8:44:27 AM

How do you behave behind the wheel when your children are in the car? According to the National Safety Council, 91 percent of parents who use their cell phones while driving do so with their teens in the vehicle.

Teaching teens safe driving behaviors is incredibly important, and many parents are the role models for their children. If you have a teen who is about to get behind the wheel, Home Loan Investment Bank's Christine Dikdan is here to offer some advice.

For starters, she stressed the value of setting a good example.

"Be the good example," Dikdan stressed. "I can personally say I have not always done this, but I do now. I have a hands-free phone, which makes it better. There are so many distractions already when driving. If you really think about it, anyone 50 and older went a very long time without having a cell phone, period. It can wait."

As you begin to teach your children how to drive, keep in mind a few key rules about road safety. Dikdan highlighted three:

  • Follow the rules of the road
  • Be actively alert
  • Keep a safe distance behind other vehicles

"Driving is a privilege, not a right, and it can have serious consequences if not given the absolute respect it deserves," she added. "You don't want to find yourself on the bus, walking, or riding a bike due to negligence. You certainly don't want to put yourself or others in harm's way."

When finding the right vehicle for teen drivers, it comes down to preference and cost. Cheaper is typically better, but there are plenty of options with affordable auto financing in hand. According to Dikdan, the more important element is proper vehicle maintenance.

"My dad was an absolute believer that bigger was better," she noted. "That may or may not be true, but his philosophy is that teenagers are probably not going to be the saints of the street. Therefore, a larger car will have more protection in the event of a crash. I think any vehicle is OK as long as it is well maintained and tires are in good condition."