Top five tips for young drivers and parents

Is it really back-to-school time already? As teens get ready to climb back into their cars to head to class, or perhaps shop for a new set of wheels, here are five tips for both young drivers and parents to think about before hitting the road.

1) Put down the phone

Distracted driving continues to be a major issue everywhere despite legislation being put in place to discourage the risky behaviour. Did you know those who text and drive are 23 times more likely to involved in a collision or near collision? Fortunately, most vehicles now, even entry level examples like the 2017 Toyota Corolla, come with Bluetooth connectivity. After pairing the system with a smartphone, calls and even texts can be handled hands free.

2) Use the seatbelt

Simple concept, but some people still choose not to buckle up for whatever reason. It is shown that many crashes where teenagers were behind the wheel became fatal due to their not wearing seatbelts.

3) Don’t drive while drowsy

Operating an automobile when sleepy can have the same effects as doing so under the influence of alcohol. Find a safe place to pull over and shut your eyes for a few moments if required to get refreshed. Although certain cars nowadays feature assistance technologies such as the Lane Keeping Assist System in the Honda Accord, which will automatically correct steering should the sedan drift out of a lane without signalling, it is not designed to replace careful driving.

4) Prepare for emergencies

Whether the route from home to school is a short or long one, always bring along emergency supplies in the trunk just in case. Nothing fancy is required — a pre-packaged bundle from any store is fine as long as the essentials such as a first aid kit, flashlight, jumper cables, etc. are included.

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5) Choose the right vehicle

As a parent, it can be tempting to pass an old clunker down to the kids as a first car. By no means is purchasing the latest luxury model necessary, however picking something contemporary will mean the product will possess the latest safety equipment from air bags to traction control. Have a look through OpenRoad’s extensive new and used inventory.

Posted by Benjamin Yong

Benjamin Yong is a freelance journalist and communications professional living in Richmond, B.C. He is often found writing about cars and the auto industry, amongst other things, or driving around in his work-in-progress 1990 Mazda MX-5. Twitter: @b_yong Instagram: @popuplights