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Be defensive when driving

Your teenage daughter is learning how to drive. As part of that, you take her out to practice on the roads. You have seen how bad some of the driving around Seattle is, so you are a little worried about her safety. One of the best things you could do is teach her some defensive driving techniques.

These are some tactics that could help her stay safe on the roads:

  • Think twice: Thankfully, your daughter is not a teenage boy, so she is unlikely to be racing along the highway against her friends. Even so, she needs to think twice about everything she does and consider if it is safe.
  • Be aware of your surroundings: It is easy to focus only on the road ahead. Like an owl, drivers need to be aware of what is going on all around her. Unlike an owl, your daughter cannot turn her head 360 degrees, so she will need to check her mirrors frequently to see behind and out to the side.
  • Don’t trust strangers: Any teenage girl knows how dumb adolescent boys can be. Your daughter needs to drive as if the road was full of them. If there is a red light to jump, one of them will do it. If there is a speed limit, one of them will break it. If there is a chance to pull out or change lanes without looking, someone will do it.
  • Take it slowly: Reducing speed allows time to make good decisions and react to danger.
  • Keep your distance: Stay at least three seconds from the car in front.
  • Keep your wits about you: Drinking or taking drugs makes you more vulnerable, whether you are driving or at a house party.
  • Keep one eye on the exit: Pre-plan how you are going to get out of a sticky situation.

Defensive driving can help keep your daughter safe around Seattle, but it cannot completely rule out the risk posed by other drivers. Seek legal help if another car crashes into her.