JOHANNESBURG, Gauteng – As school begins this week so drivers will battle their way through heavier traffic whether parent or not. The first day of school, in particular, is busier as parents deliver children to the first day of primary or high school.
Those same parents should, as they joust their way along the freeway to learning, bear in mind that their young charges are already learning driving manners.
Eugene Herbert, MD of MasterDrive, told The Corner that international research has shown that children inherit their parents’ driving style not only through the way they drive but also through genetic disposition.
‘YOUNGSTERS THINK IT’S OK’
“At least 50% of parents surveyed admitted that they used a cellphone while driving; 37% admitted to speeding. Some were even guilty of taking selfies while driving.
“Such behaviour is not only dangerous; it teaches youngsters that ‘it is OK’.”
It becomes too late to emphasise such behaviour is bad when you start teaching junior to drive, he adds.
”Your power of persuasion will be severely hampered if you advocate against behaviour in which you have indulged many times.”
THINGS TO AVOID
You’re being watched on the school run so avoid behaviour your child could interpret as normal – even acceptable – and when they take the wheel. So, avoid:
Aggressive driving: Do not, for instance, shout at other drivers and road users – you’re teaching your children to be intolerant of other drivers.
Discourteous driving: Much anger and frustration – even collisions – could be avoided simply by being courteous to other drivers. MasterDrive subscribes to the slogan:
‘Drive nice, it’s contagious’
and encourages other drivers to do the same.
Distracted driving: Applying make-up, using a phone – anything that might cause you to remove your eyes from the road – will set a dangerous example.
Drinking – especially alcohol – while driving: Modern theories advise drivers not to drink anything while moving. This is even more relevant if a child is the car.