Gordon’s Golden Rules of Safe Driving

Below is my Top 10 list of things to drill over and over again throughout the duration of your teenager’s behind-the-wheel education.  I recommend literally pulling it out every fourth or fifth time and reviewing each item in the list.

  1. Leave plenty of distance in between you and the car in front of you.
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  2. When changing lanes or moving into a center turn lane, after checking your mirrors look over your left or right shoulder because of the blind spot.
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  3. When driving in a neighborhood, assume there is an 80% chance of a little kid running out from behind any car parked on the street.  Be prepared.  Same idea for a kid riding their bike along the edge of the road near the gutter.  Assume there is an 80% chance they will swerve out into the street.
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  4. Don’t talk on your cell phone unless absolutely necessary.  If talking is necessary, do so using a hands-free device (earpiece or Bluetooth speakerphone).  Absolutely, positively never text while driving (reading or responding).  View the first 45 seconds of the following video clip with your new teenage driver to help this sink in.  But be warned that some of the images in the video are pretty graphic.  http://bit.ly/TOx9eo
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  5. Don’t crank up the radio full blast unless on an open highway in the middle of nowhere with minimal traffic and distractions.
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  6. On multi-lane roads, leave yourself an “out” (don’t put yourself right next to another car).
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  7. When turning onto a multi-lane road, turn into the nearest lane.  If you need to be in another lane, then make the lane change after a safe, successful turn.
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  8. Don’t run yellow lights.  The question to ask yourself when suddenly presented with a yellow light is this: “Can I safely stop without sliding into the intersection?”  The question is NOT “Can I make it through the intersection before the light turns red?”.
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  9. Be extra paranoid when backing out of a parking space – take your time and ease back 1-2 feet at a time until you can see the driving lane
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  10. Be extra paranoid when driving in any parking lot.  Anything can happen at a moment’s notice.