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Not many adults concern themselves with learning to be a better driver. After all, most parents have been driving for years, and “practice makes perfect,” right?
Although that actual thought may not be on your mind as you get behind the wheel, I’m sure most of us feel confident in performing any task we have repeated as often as driving.
Unfortunately, that mindset makes driver conditioning particularly dangerous. The more comfortable we are when driving, the less attention we pay to our driving environment. This makes us more likely to miss subtle changes in traffic patterns or road conditions, consequently putting ourselves and other road users at risk.
With this reality in mind, how can we educate adults and parents on driver conditioning and convince these experienced drivers that they still have more to learn about being a responsible driver? After extensively studying this issue, I have come up with three ways to effectively introduce new safety information to experienced drivers. These options include:
Each of these suggestions could help drive down the injuries and deaths we see on our roads each year, but implementing a version of all three would have the biggest impact. This would require the coordination of many private organizations as well as governmental agencies, yes, but I believe the results would be worth the effort.
Currently, there is a coordinated national endeavor to achieve zero fatalities on our nation’s roadways, but in order to reach that goal we must cast a broad net and try a variety of options. I believe these programs could go a long way toward achieving that goal.
In Part Five of this series, we will learn about another danger few drivers ever think about—the roadway itself.
DriveitHOME™ is an initiative of the National Safety Council, designed by and for parents of newly licensed teen drivers. DriveitHOME™ offers free resources parents can use to help their teen build experience to become safer drivers.
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