Drive Safe

ICBC reveals top tips for teenage drivers.

More than 50,000 B.C. teens got their driver’s licence in 2009, according to the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC). Driving is especially risky when you lack experience. Not only are new drivers more prone to crash, one in four of their crashes result in an injury or fatality, said ICBC in a press release.

Brokers can share the following smart driving tips, provided by ICBC, with their teenage clients and parents to promote road safety.

1. Set the right example: Driving lessons start much earlier than you may realize – your children will observe your actions and attitude from a very young age. To set a good example, remember that most driving slip-ups result from lapses of attention. Stay away from anything that takes your mind from the road whether it’s food, coffee or make-up. And remember, it’s not only dangerous but it’s now against the law to use a handheld electronic device while driving.

2. Get in the experts: It’s certainly a good idea to give your teen as much driving experience as possible, so consider also giving them the opportunity to take some lessons with a professional driving instructor. Many driving school courses include classroom time and road safety theory. More importantly, a driving school instructor can be objective without the emotion involved in many parent-teen relationships. If you do choose this route, remember to stay involved and discuss what they’re learning.

3. Remember the restrictions: B.C.’s Graduated Licensing Program (GLP) has helped lower the crash rate of new drivers by ensuring they gain the driving experience they need in a more controlled, lower-risk environment, and then expanding their privileges as they become safer on the road.

As a parent, you should know the restrictions of the GLP and ensure that your teen sticks to them. The newest restriction bans GLP drivers from using cellphones and all electronic devices while driving, including hands-free. Some of the other key restrictions of the novice stage are:

-   You must always display your green ‘N’ sign on the back of your vehicle when driving.

-   You cannot drive with any alcohol in your body.

-   You are limited to one passenger (immediate family exempt) – unless you are driving with a supervisor 25 years or older that has a valid, full driver’s licence.

4. Put it in writing: You may want to consider creating a family contract and set of house rules that are in line with the GLP restrictions. Include your expectations of your teen, the responsibilities you want them to show on the road, and the consequences for breaking those rules. Like any contract, it should be a two-way deal. As a responsible parent, you should agree to drive your teen home if they’ve been drinking to stop them from being tempted to drive impaired.

5. Gearing up: The type of car your teen learns to drive on can make a big difference. It’s best to learn how to drive on a vehicle that’s a manageable size and has good visibility. Stick to an automatic transmission until your teen has mastered the basics. A great way to help build your teen’s confidence is to start on roads with less traffic and avoid rush hour congestion.

Copyright © 2017 Transcontinental Media G.P.
Transcontinental Media G.P.