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How to help your teen driver learn lane control

One of the most difficult things for a lot of new drivers to master is staying within their lane. Fortunately, unlike when most of us were learning to drive, many cars now have lane departure warning systems that let drivers know when they're starting to drift over the line. However, that doesn't necessarily make it easier for teen drivers to maneuver their vehicles as well as more experienced ones can.

If you're taking your teen on practice drives ahead of their licensing test, there are some creative ways you can teach them to stay in their lane without even being on the open road.

Drive-thrus are a good place to practice their skills without the pressure and potential danger of hitting a car. Most drive-thrus are not much wider than the average vehicle, so you have no choice but to stay in the lane (or risk a nasty scratch on your car).

Incorporate a stop at a local fast food or Starbucks drive-thru into your practice drive. Of course, if they're open, you'll need to order something, so that's not something you can do repeatedly.

There are other drive-thru options where you're not required to stop -- or buy anything. Find a nearby drive-up ATM. If it's not busy, you can go through it repeatedly. If you have to run an errand where you'll be going through any kind of drive-up window, take your teen with you to give them more practice.

While you're at it, remind your teen to keep an eye out for other drivers who are drifting over the line and stay away from them. Many drivers do this when they become distracted or are reaching for something. It only takes a second, though, of being over the line to hit another driver and perhaps push them into yet another lane.

If your newly licensed driver is injured in a crash caused by another driver, make sure they don't take the blame for something that wasn't their fault. Teen drivers have a bad reputation, but many of them don't deserve it. If you're dealing with medical bills and other expenses and damages caused by the crash, make sure you get the compensation you need.

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