Be a good role model. Teenagers learn from observing their parents
- Always use your seat belt properly and ensure everyone in the vehicle is also buckled up.
- Obey all traffic laws.
- Don't drink and drive.
- Don't drive aggressively.
- Pay attention. Minimize distractions.
Use "Commentary Driving"
Ask the student to comment on what they see - ie: speed limits, traffic signs and signals, road conditions, potential hazards and how the driver should respond to all conditions.
- Select the route in advance and practice the route before taking your teen.
- Ensure that your teenager understands the objectives of all sessions before you begin behind the wheel training.
- Start off in an empty parking lot before moving to the big streets.
- Go from residential streets to light traffic and finally heavy multi-lane traffic and freeway.
- Always monitor traffic from ahead, around and behind.
- Give through directions to turn at least 1 block in advance.
- Use the word "right" to mean a direction only, not to confirm that something is correct.
- Be as specific as possible.
- Try to remain calm at all times, use a calm voice and be patient. Mistakes will happen in any learning process.
- Praise your teenager's driving accomplishments and milestones.
Parents should include the following in your practice
- Driving Preparation: dress appropriately with comfortable shoes and sunglasses (if necessary). adjust seat and mirrors, use seat belts, start the engine, check gas gause, check for traffic, signal and move when safe.
- Basic maneuvering: Forward moving, steering, turning, stopping, and backing.
- Night Driving: Using lights, appropriate speed.
- Interaction with other motorists: Using turn signals, changing lanes, blond spots, mirrors, safe following distance, monitoring traffic from all directions.
- Light traffic: Looking ahead, approaching/exiting traffic, proper lane choice, accepting and yielding right-of-way.
- Heavy traffic: Adjusting speed and position, using turn lanes, left turn yields.
- Railroad Crossings: Obey lights and crossing gates, crossing tracks safely.
- Parking/Turning: Angle, hill, parallet parking, U-turns, 3-point turns.
- Adverse weather: Adjusting speed for rain, fog, wind, dust, snow. Using lights.
- Freeways and Highways: Using on-ramps and off-ramps, merging, lane and speed choices.
- Hazards: Obstacles, flashers, anti-lockbrakes.
What is New Mexico GDL?
GDL (Graduated driver licensing) eases beginning drivers into traffic by limiting their exposure to driving situations proven to be particularly dangerous. Teenagers start drivng in certain conditions, which are slowly relaxed as drivers mature and develop better driving skills.
Why is graduated driver licensing needed?
Traffic collisions are the leading cause of death among teens in New Mexico. About 5,000 teen drivers are injured or killed every year. Other vital statistics include:
- Too many teen crashes -Historically, New Mexico has had among the highest teen crash fatality rates in the country. While teens 15 to 19 years old make up only 7% of licensed drivers, they're the drivers in 15% of all crashes.
- Too many teen late-night collisions - 23% of crashes involving teen drivers occur at night.
- Too many passengers - 58% of all teen passengers in crashes in New Mexico were passengers in vehicles driven by other teens.
Too many people are injured or killed in cars driven by teenagers. Without a sound GDL system, this issue would grow every year. Statistics show New Mexico's teen population growing 13% over the next decade.
What is the process of obtaining a New Mexico Driver's License?
Stage 1: Instructional Permit - To obtain a permit, all teenagers must: Be at least 15 years old, Obtain parental or guardian consent, Provide identification and other documentation required by the Motor Vehicle Division, Have completed or be enrolled in a state-approved New Mexico Online Teen Drivers Ed program, pass a written and vision exam, and pay an application fee.
When a permit is obtained, teenagers must hold the instructional permit for at least six months, unless 30 days is added for all adjudication or conviction of a traffic violation. Teens must also complete a state-approved New Mexico Teen Drivers Ed program, drive with an adult 21 or older who has been licensed for a minimum of 3 years, and complete 50 hours of supervised driving practice, including 10 hours at night. A parent or guardian must certify in writing that these hours have been completed. There is also a strict policy towards drinking and driving for teens holding an instructional permit. Even a .02% concentration of alcohol in the blood (barely a single drink) could result in a 6-month license revocation for drivers under the age of 21.
Stage 2: Provisional License - To obtain a provisional license, teenagers must complete stage 1 successfully, be aleast 15 1/2 years old, and pass a New Mexico state-approved behind-the-wheel driving exam.
Once the provisional license is issued, the teen driver must hold the provisional license for at least 12 months, unless 30 days is added for all adjudication or conviction of a traffic violation, or unless a licensed driver age 21 or older is in the vehicle, a provisional license-holder may not have more than one passenger in the vehicle under the age of 21 who is not an immediate family member. The teen driver may not operate a motor vehicle between the hours of midnight and 5AM unless accompanied by a licensed driver age 21 or older. Exceptions are permitted for school, employment, family and medical need or religious functions.
Stage 3: Full License - To obtain a full-unrestricted license, a teen must complete Stage 2 successfully, have not had any traffic violations pending at the time of application for driver license, and have not have been found guilty or have an offense pending involving the use of alcohol or drugs during the provisional period.