In the first lesson, parents and teens can learn about car setting and functions, and how to set them properly for safe driving.
Female Speaker: You're getting ready for your first In-Car lesson, and we're here to help. Myself as well as all the parents and teens in this program have been through what you are about to begin. So we're here to offer some additional tips to go along with the in-depth main program footage. You can print out Pre-Drive Packet and Drive Packets for each lesson. These include checklist; and thorough step-by-step procedures that let you know what you should practice; and when you should practice it. Tips for this lesson go along with section number 1. Male speaker: For the safety of you and your student, perform all the driving tasks in this lesson in a traffic and obstacle free environment such as an empty parking lot. Allowing an inexperienced driver to practice these tasks on the roadway is extremely dangerous, and not recommended. Adam: Begin every lesson by reviewing important pre driving tasks, such as checking the area around the outside of the vehicle for broken glass and other hazards. Lesson one of the main program includes an eye opening exercise to practice with your student. Other pre-driving tasks include checking under the hood and identifying the most basic elements, making proper seat, seatbelt, and headrest adjustments and adjusting mirror settings. The most effective mirror setting is the Blind Spot and Glare Elimination setting or BGE. You can see how to achieve the BGE in lesson one of the main program. Female Speaker: Once your student has completed all of the pre-drive tasks; they're ready to start the car but only if they familiarize themselves with all the symbols and warning lights; and what each of them mean. You can find all the symbols and warning lights for your vehicle in your owner's manual. Your student needs to know what each of them mean in order to operate the vehicle properly. Male Speaker: To start the car, have your student check the parking brake; and place their foot on the floor brake. After they make sure that the car is in park, turn the key to start the engine. Warn them that if they turn the key and hold it too long; they will hear a nasty grinding sound. Once the vehicle is started have your student identify and practice using operating control devices; such as the steering wheel, turn signal lever, vehicle lights, and gear selector. They need to have a good knowledge of how these controls work, before driving anywhere. If they don't, sit in the car with them; and discuss how each works. Female Speaker: Once your teen is ready to put the car in drive, begin with the most basic driving tasks at slow speeds, approximately 10miles/hour. They must become comfortable with these tasks at slower speeds before entering the roadway in future lessons. Adam: One of those tasks is starting and stopping smoothly. Just as my dad taught me; you want to teach your teens the pivot method. Many teens begin driving by lifting there foot completely off the floor when transitioning from the accelerator to the brake and vise-versa. Make sure they keep the heel of their foot on the floor while they use the top of their foot to pivot back and forth. With time this will help eliminate any jerkiness. You should also stress slow, gradual acceleration and braking. In addition to making the ride a lot smoother this allows the vehicle to maintain proper balance. Male Speaker: When practicing right and left turns in an empty parking lot, allow your student to attempt it on their own at first. It will probably be difficult for them to judge the turn appropriately. I found that Adam responded well to watching me make the same turns. So switch seats and allow your teen to observe you making the turns correctly. When they're making a turn, stress to them the importance of looking where they want the car to go, as oppose to staring at the items or trying to avoid. Female Speaker: One of the biggest problems for new drivers is taking curbs at inappropriate speeds. They simply don't have the experience to note just how much they should slow down. So tell them early and often of the dangers and teach them the proper way to handle curbs. Explain that all breaking should take place before the curb; breaking during the curb reduces traction and increases the chance of losing control of the car. Once the car has slowed; they should coast through the first half of the turn without braking. As soon as they get beyond the apex of the curb; they should slowly accelerate through the reminder of it. Adam: There are two main steering techniques used by drivers. One is the hand-to-hand method; have your student grip the wheel along with outside rim with their finger tips, leaving their thumbs up along the face of the wheel. The hand-to-hand method allows you to make minor and gross adjustments up to a half turn of the wheel. This is the preferred method, because it's good for precision maneuvering and steering through curbs. The other method is the hand-over-hand. One hand grabs the wheel and pushes the wheel up over and down. At the same time the other hand releases the wheel and passes across the forearm to grip the wheel on the far side. This hand then pulls the wheel up, over, and down. While this is a popular method of steering; it exposes you to additional risk of injury to arms, hands, and face if the airbag fails. It also increases a likely hood of losing control of your vehicle in running of the road. Male Speaker: Once you're finished for the day or just taken a break make sure your student stops and secures the vehicle properly. Have them find an appropriate parking space; and set the parking brake, then place the car in park and turn off any accessories, especially headlights; if they're using them. Next turn the ignition switch to off; and take the keys out. After removing their seatbelt make sure your student checks for traffic outside of the car before opening the door. Remind them to lock their doors, this may sound extremely simple to you but it is very important to do it step-by-step with your student. If all this becomes a habit, they are less likely to leave their headlights on; or lock their keys in the vehicle, or get something stolen from it. In the end something so simple can make them a lot safer. Female Speaker: You can change the order in which you complete the drive packets; but make sure your student completes all of the tasks and repeat some as necessary. Before moving on to In-Car lesson 2 and in entering the roadway; your student must be able to complete these basic tasks safely and comfortably. You're not doing anyone any favors by allowing your teen on the street before they're road ready.