In Car Introduction - Basic Turns and Steering
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In the second lesson, parents and teens can learn about basic steering positions, backing your cars and merging in traffic.


Female Speaker: At this point in your driving instruction you and your student will be venturing on to the roadway for the first time. But before you do; you'll need to practice backing in an empty parking lot. Backing can be difficult for new drivers. A common mistake they make is moving their foot to the accelerator too quickly; and backing too fast. Begin by instructing your student to back as slowly as possible, so they can get a feel for the braking in this situation. The proper order for paddle use, when backing is to go from a controlled brake to covering the brake then back to a controlled brake, but for lightly accelerating. Female Speaker 1: One of the first things Kim and I worked on was following distance, initially this exercise has the best result, when the parent drives and allows to student to focus on, determining appropriate following distances. Ask your student to identify a fix object in your path of travel. This could be anything from the road sign to a bus stop, have them start counting when they think you're four seconds away from the object. Repeat this exercise until your student has a firm grasp on how much space is needed for a following distance of four seconds. Once your teens is comfortable with this and being behind the wheel, have them repeat the exercise while determining the following distance between their car and the car in front of them. Proper following distance allows a driver to brake and steer out of potential problems ahead. Female Speaker: So your student is ready to hit the road, but you should avoid high speed and heavy traffic areas this early in their driving experience. Current tasks should be performed on low traffic, residential, or rural roads. Now that you're ready, be sure to stress the importance of lane position, and gradual acceleration as they pull on to the roadway. Tell your teen to visualize the lane position they want to occupy before they move into traffic, using the middle of the lane whenever possible. This will help prevent them from making too wide of a turn and decrease the chance of interfering with oncoming traffic. Guide them to a smooth, gradual acceleration and remind them that the car will begin moving forward once their foot is off the break. Kim: Lesson 2 of the main program provides you with the in depth look at how to approach and proceed through intersections. However there are some basic right-of-way rules that are often overlooked. Your student should know that they must be ready to yield anytime they see a vehicle not slowing to yield to them, regardless of who has the ride-of-way. For example if they're approaching a green light, and notice cross traffic they might not stop at the red light; they need to yield to prevent that collision. Most accidents at intersections occur because of the failure to yield to oncoming traffic. If your student enters the left turn lane, and the right is green with an arrow, remind them that they must yield to any oncoming traffic. When it's clear, they are free to make the turn. Tell your student that they should never waive another driver on at any intersection. If the car gets into an immediate accident, they could be held liable for waving them to go when it wasn't safe to do so. Also if someone waives them on they shouldn't go until they know it's clear. Female Speaker 1: Another good habit to stress to your teen is to leave space between the car and the car in front of them, when stopped at an intersection. They should leave enough space that they can see the rear tires of the vehicle ahead of them touching the ground. This allows room to steer out of potential problems. Now when teaching your teen how to make turns, the most important thing to stress is to look at the center of their path of travel and visualize how they want to be positioned after making the turn. It's just like you saw with entering the roadway. Your student must also know what to do when encountering multiple turn lanes; too many people don't and it's unsafe. When making a turn with the multiple turn lanes; you have to stay in your lane the whole way during through the turn, otherwise you'll cut off or collide with an unsuspecting driver. Female Speaker: New drivers often over steer; so when you practice moving to a curb or the side of the road explain that many maneuvers require only slight steering input. This explanation will also be useful when instructing your teen on lane positions. Have your student move from one lane position to another as you mention them. If you start in lane position 1, you could say move to lane position 2. Then have them move back to 1; and then to lane position 3, and then all the way over to lane position 2 again. But don't have them do it as quickly as I just did. Allow them to ease into it. Any variation of this would work, the exercise allows them to get comfortable with fine steering adjustments; and more capable of maneuvering quickly and effectively if an obstacle appears in their lane. You should also perform the same type of exercise with speed adjustments, instructing your teen to decrease, and increase their speed in response to their surroundings. As with every lesson practice and repeat the driving tasks in lesson 2, before moving on. Your student must be comfortable with these tasks before entering heavier and faster traffic areas.