The first time your teen climbs behind the wheel of a car can be a scary experience -- for the both of you! Teaching someone to drive is not easy, especially when you have to be concerned about the safety of everyone else on the road in the process. To ensure your teen turns out to be a safe and well-educated driver (and that you don't pull your hair out in the process), follow these tips.
Start in a parking lot.
Don't unleash your teen on the road until they know the basics. Most of the basics can be learned in an empty parking lot where you've removed the risk of running into another car or turning into oncoming traffic. Have your teen practice turning, braking, accelerating, and decelerating during two or three parking lot sessions. Then, proceed to an area where the streets are calm and quiet. You may need to drive the car to the quiet area yourself and then switch drivers, allowing your teen to drive only on the calm, low-traffic streets at first.
Advance to more challenging roads eventually.
It would be a mistake to only teach your child to drive on quiet roads, only for them to then get their license and experience driving on busy streets alone for the first time. So once your teen has a handle on stopping, looking both ways before turning, and sticking to the speed limit, start slowly introducing some driving on busier streets. Start with just a few minutes of driving in busier areas per session, and work your way up to the point of allowing your teen to drive everywhere in your local area.
Talk about how to approach certain obstacles before they happen.
When you're driving, you frequently come upon situations that you need to react to with a second's notice. Instead of hoping your teen figures out how to handle these situations correctly in the moment, spend time talking about them beforehand. Make sure they know what to do when:
- They're approaching an intersection and it does not look like the other driver is going to stop.
- Someone is tailgating them.
- Another driver is slowing down in the lane but has not put on a turning signal.
- Someone passes them.
Teaching your own child to drive can be quite a challenge. Teens don't always listen to their parents as well as they listen to other adults. If you're struggling to teach your teen the rules of the road, consider sending them to driving school instead. An experienced instructor like those at Morgan School Of Driving Inc can ensure they know all there is to know about being a safe, effective driver.