Teenagers often receive formal training from a paid driver's education service as well as plenty of informal practice with their parents. As a parent, you may find this to be an enjoyable way to spend time with your son or daughter while helping the young person acquire a valuable skill.
As you supervise your teenager during driving practice, make sure he or she obtains some experience at intersections that can be confusing.
It can be difficult for drivers to figure out who has the right of way at intersections with stop signs, particularly at four-way stops. Here's a set forth rules to minimize decision-making difficulty. Teach your teenager various rules. For example:
- The first driver to stop has the right of way when two drivers face each other, and it's unclear who stopped first.
- Traffic going straight should move before traffic making a tum when drivers stop at the same time and are not facing each other.
- The vehicle farthest to the right has the right of way
Intersections with more than two streets are uncommon, but drivers are bound to run across them occasionally even in smaller cities. The intersections are set up as five-way or six-way crossing points. These intersections are typically controlled by traffic lights instead of stop signs to prevent confusion unless they have very little traffic.
They should be easy enough to navigate if the driver remains patient and waits for a green light. The biggest problem occurs when drivers try to guess when their light will turn green by watching the opposing lights. That can lead them to start proceeding through an intersection when an opposing light turns red — only to discover their light is also still red.
Hashing Yellow and Red Lights
The correct way to navigate flashing yellow and red lights can feel counterintuitive to the new driver, who learned that a yellow light is an early signal to stop before the light turns red. A flashing yellow, however, means to proceed with caution. A flashing red light essentially turns a red traffic light into a stop sign. The driver must stop, even if there is no cross traffic, and can proceed if the intersection is clear.
If you live in an area that has roundabouts, have your teenage driver practice on those as well. Roundabouts are becoming more prevalent as statistics confirm their safety levels and lower cost of maintenance. Even experienced drivers can find them confusing, however. The fundamental skill involves continuing to move forward whenever possible, but yielding to oncoming traffic.
Yield signs usually are placed at intersections where traffic experts have determined it's safe for drivers to slow down to check for cross traffic rather than to stop altogether. However, too many people become complacent at yield-sign intersections and just drive through.
Fortunately, yield signs are intrinsic features of the increasingly common roundabout. Once your teenager becomes proficient at driving through this type of road feature, they shouldn't have too much trouble handling yield signs at traditional intersections. Nevertheless, make sure the teen gets some practice.