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License To Drive

Teenagers and cars need not always be a lethal combination. Follow these tips to make your teen a responsible driver.

Teenagers and cars seem to be a lethal combination. Yet more and more teens are taking to the road. Follow these tips to make your teen a responsible driver, and RELAX.

Last year my nephew celebrated his eighteenth birthday by spending the whole day at the Driving school learning driving. Today's teens seem to be in such a hurry to hit the road. In our generation the question of driving cropped up only when we started working, usually to adjust to late working hours, but now teens want to start driving as soon as they enter college. If your teenager is learning to drive, it is of utmost importance that he realises driving is serious business. Here's how you can help your teen make safe driving a habit.

Emphasise road rules

Most people do not concentrate on learning road rules while applying for a license. They just want to get their hands on the wheel! In India, just because you have a license doesn't mean you are a good or safe driver at all. Youngsters especially tend to get carried away while driving, and often speed too much, posing danger to themselves and to others on the road.

Lead by example

Be a good model for your child. Never drink and drive. Never speak on your mobile phone while driving. Your children pay attention to you actions, not your words. Teach by your example that it is better to be cautious while driving. Explain to your child that speed thrills, but kills. Research has shown that when it comes to road accidents, the higher the speed the greater the risk of serious injury. Point out the wrong habits of the other drivers and explain the possible consequences. Make it clear to your child that it is always better to start early from home, drive slowly and reach safely.

Get a good teacher

If you know how to drive, try and teach your child driving. If you don't have the time, the patience or the nerve for doing this, enrol your child in a good driving school before he starts asking his friends to teach him driving. Sending your child to a driving school is safe because the passenger seat also has breaks at the foot, so if your child starts speeding up, the instructor has control over the car.

Practice makes perfect

Insist that your child practices driving with you or any other experienced person even after getting his license. Sit with him while he practices until he is perfect.

Have strict rules

Insist that your teen follow certain rules for his own safety. He should wear the seat belt every time he is in car, and strap up his helmet when driving a two-wheeler. Make it very clear to them that in case they are involved in an accident, they will be grounded. The number of passengers your child is allowed to carry should also be limited. Don't let your child pile up half a dozen friends in the car, because this can be very distracting. Put restrictions on him not driving late at night, since this is when roads are clear and temptation to speed is high. In any case, avoid letting him drive alone initially, until you are confident of his skills.

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