Today's post harkens back to my own high school years but is equally relevant to my current life. It shares 5 words to tell every new driver. It probably feels like Driver's Ed but that's okay with me! File it under Tips for New Drivers but really it could help any driver!
Every years scores of teens in the U.S. and around the world become new drivers. Can you remember the first time you set foot behind the steering wheel? I know I can.
But think about the difference between that day and one month later, one year later, one decade later. Are you as cautious now as you were that first day?
If you answered yes, congratulations on being a super safe driver!
If you are like a lot of people and go into auto-pilot mode some days, you might want to keep reading. This tactic is perfect for brand new drivers but it is a reminder that we all could use now and again.
Before we get to THOSE words I want to get a couple things straight.
1. I'm not perfect, I make mistakes and I've even gotten a ticket before. This reminder helps me make safe choices on a daily basis.
2. This might not be for you and your teen. If it sounds like it would be helpful, use it. If it's not your thing, I hope you find whatever IS your thing. If it helps ONE person make ONE safer choice then I'm glad I shared it.
3. I cannot guarantee anyone's safety. Obviously. I am not liable for any accidents or any driver's actions or decisions.
5 Words to Tell Every New Driver
Every day I drive down a small, winding residential street near me where the posted speed limit seems way lower than everyone wants to drive. It also seems like- more often than any other street nearby- I see cops driving there.
How do you react when you see a cop while you are driving?
Even if you are a terrific driver, do you become more alert? Do the hairs on the back of your neck stand up when you first see the cop?
Do you go through the last few minutes in your mind, trying to remember if you did anything wrong?
Do you check your speed? Do you stop longer at stop signs? Do you lay off that guy in front of you?
I know in an ideal world we would all drive at safe speeds and make all those safe choices every single time. But. If you're a young adult going through all the drama that comes high school or college, sometimes you are just lost in your own train of thought.
So. Here are my 5 words to remember- for you or for a new driver in your life. Every time you get in the car, try to remember them.
“Drive Like There's a Cop.”
As you're driving, don't wait to see IF there's a cop around that next corner. Drive like you KNOW he is there.
Every time. Every corner. Or even behind you. Whatever works. If the idea of getting home safely to your family, or if getting your children to their destination is not enough of a reminder, maybe this would be?
I'm not saying that I want you driving, white-knuckled, paranoid that you're going to be arrested, every moment of every day.
But think about it. If you KNOW a cop is there. How do you drive? What kinds of choices do you make?
For a teen who is new to driving, having a reminder like that could mean the difference between running a red light and waiting until it turns green. Or heck- even drinking and driving! If you knew there would be a cop nearby wouldn't you think twice about trying that?
Talk To Teen Drivers About Safety
Have a talk with your new driver. You know your child best, so use your own words but if it would help to get your juices flowing, here is how I might say it:
“I know you are driving now and you worked hard to get your license. I'm proud of you and I know you'll make good choices. However, in driving, just as in other parts of life, it's easy to get distracted. Maybe you're running late, maybe you're listening to music or talking to your friends. Getting distracted while driving could lead to serious consequences. And you know I'll worry about you every day. Would you make me a promise to put my own mind at ease? Every time you get in the car, could you think of these five words? “Drive Like There's a Cop.” While you're driving, imagine there is a cop behind you and the only way to avoid a ticket- or worse- is to drive safely.”
If you want to take this one step further, I made some Drive Like There's A Cop key chains so that your new driver has a visual reminder to always Drive Like There's a Cop. I used the initials DLTAC to abbreviate the five words. If you'd like to see this reminder on another item, let me know an I will add it to the shop!