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Tips for the new driver in your household

The day is fast approaching when you will have to watch as your teenager pulls out of the driveway and drives off without you. While a complete driver's education course is helpful to get new drivers on the road, the only way your teenager can fully develop defensive driving skills is to practice. This means letting your son or daughter spend time behind the wheel.

Before you turn your teenager loose on the road, however, take some time to talk about safe driving habits. The following basic tips can help your son or daughter become a confident and safe driver.

Be familiar with the car

Part of safe driving is knowing the car. Whether your teenager is driving the family car or his own, he should spend some time becoming familiar with the vehicle's controls. This includes knowing how to work the headlights, turn signals, and emergency brake. It is also important to understand all the dials and indicators on the dashboard, such as the gas gauge, speedometer and the oil indicator.

Keep a backup map

While most people rely on their phones or other devices for directions, there may be a time when such a device does not work. For example, some areas do not have a strong enough signal for a GPS to work properly. This is why it is always a good idea to keep a map in the glove compartment or consul as a backup.

Pack a roadside safety kit

When driving through Kentucky, or anywhere around the country, the unexpected can occur. It only takes one nail to cause a flat tire and result in a roadside stop. Since cars can break down or an accident can occur at any time, it is vital to have a roadside emergency kit in the car at all times. Be sure your child's kit contains items such as flare, jumper cables, flashlights and even some first aid essentials. Also, the car should have a spare tire in good condition and a tire iron.

Follow the signs

Road signs exist to alert drivers to changes in speed, the existence of speed bumps, and even if the street is one-way or two. In order to stay safe on the road, it is extremely important to pay attention to and follow all road signs.

No cellphone

For the driver, the car should always be a cellphone free zone. This includes no talking, texting or checking email, even while sitting at a stop light. If your teenager needs to use the phone, make it clear that he should always pull over somewhere safe and put the car in park before using the phone.

While the above tips can help your teenager become a safe driver, it is not always possible to avoid the actions of other people on the road. If you or your child has been the victim of a negligent driver, you might be able to file a claim for injuries and damage.

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