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Rai Blanchette Offers Tips to Give New Drivers

Rainer Blanchette

As an automotive professional and enthusiast, Rai Blanchette can remember how exciting it was to pass a driving test and hit the open road. Earning a license is truly a milestone moment for teens in America, but it comes with a huge amount of responsibility. Parents can often have a difficult time offering advice to their child as they are rightfully worried about their safety and well-being on the road. Today, Rai Blanchette offers some practical advice that any parent can provide for their new driver.

Rai Blanchette believes the best way to become a better driver is to drive. While a driver’s license does give a person the right to get behind the wheel, it does not mean that a person is a great driver. Almost any motorist will say they are a better driver today than they were when they first got their license. New drivers should continue to practice their driving skills even after passing their test. Instead of heading out on a major highway, Rai Blanchette suggests drivers just go out and test their skills on the back roads. The more time a driver spends driving, the more confident they will become behind the wheel. While practicing on back roads, new drivers can get in the habit of making good driving decisions. For instance, being deliberate with turn signals when changing lanes or turning will decrease the likelihood of accidents by a large margin.

The first time a driver heads out without an instructor, it can be a rather intense experience. Rai Blanchette suggests parents continue to drive in the passenger seat with their new driver for as many trips as possible. The key is to understand that the role of the parent is to help ease the anxiety of their child. Rai Blanchette suggests sticking to positive reinforcement and encouraging the driver as much as possible. If a newly licensed driver still seems too green to drive on their own, it may be a wise idea to seek further driving lessons. There are some great online classes that teach defensive driving techniques and offer guidance for driving on the highway. Proof of successfully passing these courses can even lower insurance premiums for newly licensed drivers.

When looking to give new drivers advice, Rai Blanchette suggests that an emphasis is placed on how a driver holds the steering wheel. A lot of experienced drivers will drive with one hand. This is never recommended, but it is something that occurs. A young driver needs to have their hands at 10 and 2 or 9 and 3 on the steering wheel. Before a driver heads out of the driveway, they should have a checklist of things to look over. For starters, they should adjust their mirrors to clearly see behind them and on either side of them. A new driver should have their seat belt on before they even start the car. Finally, a new driver should avoid listening to loud music. There’s nothing wrong with some background noise when driving but if it becomes a distraction, it won’t do the driver any favors.

The biggest point of emphasis for any parent speaking to their child who recently acquired their license should be to put their phone away while driving. People of all ages are used to being on their cell phones all day, but it just cannot happen while on the road. Rai Blanchette suggests having the driver put their phone in the glovebox while driving. A lot of young motorists will rely on their phone for directions, but unless the phone is connected to the speakers and offering hands-free suggestions, there’s simply no excuse to have a cell phone out.