Learning how to drive and getting out on the roads is yet another step into the adulthood your teenage son or daughter will eventually make. As teen driving safety is one of the major concerns, parents need to make sure that their kids learn how to drive safely and abide by the driving rules not to get into trouble, get seriously injured or hurt someone. At the same time, it’s necessary to approach the process quite sensitively, not to scare your teen too much and fight off his desire to drive a vehicle.
Driving is a must-have skill, so the sooner your teenager obtains it (within the legally allowed age, of course) and the sooner he turns into a confident driver – the better. If you’re right by his side providing the helpful guidance and accompanying him while he still needs it, your teen will grow from a nervous beginner into an apprehensive expert.
All teenagers are excited to get their license and start driving the second they turn 16 years old. But, that age may still be not quite appropriate for some teens. If you think that your child lacks attention and responsibility, if you have certain reasons to believe that he won’t be able to react to sudden, difficult situations on the road quickly enough, then – it’s a pass for him. Maybe, finding a good driving school on HireRush.com and signing him up to take lessons will be a great birthday present. And will he/she drive after passing the test and obtaining a license – you’ll talk about that later.
You may be an excellent driver with a clean record, great experience, and skills. But, it doesn’t mean that you’re qualified to teach your teenage son or daughter how to drive. Firstly, being able to do something isn’t enough to teach someone to do the same. You need to be an expert not just in driving, but also teaching to teach someone how to drive a vehicle successfully. Secondly, safe teaching requires a special car that has a second pair of pedals on the instructor’s side: if something goes wrong and the learner doesn’t manage to react right away, the instructor is able to step in and prevent the accident.
And lastly, most children aren’t too responsive to parents’ attempts to teach them something. They don’t take corrections too well and get stressed out quite quickly. Combine that will no driving skills/experience, and you get a recipe for a teen driving disaster and trauma. So, entrust this task to a professional and send your child to a good driving school. Step in and help him out once he receives the license and becomes legally eligible for driving a vehicle.
While some teenagers treat driving quite responsibly and don’t mess around when they’re in the driver’s seat, most of them are too excited to start driving and experiencing all the ‘fun’. That may lead to reckless teen driving and terrible accidents. Thus, parents should set the teen driving rules before entrusting the steering wheel to their children:
no passengers or nighttime driving during the first few months on the road;
buckling up isn’t for dummies;
no texting or talking on the phone;
no loud music while driving;
speeding leads to the keys being taken away;
no drunk driving (obviously!);
no distance driving without a parental permit;
speeding ticket, drunk driving or any other violation of the rule – immediate suspension of the driving privileges;
speak up if you don’t feel confident or safe.
Of course, it’s vital that your teen starts feeling confident while driving alone. Unfortunately, the number of training hours people receive in driving schools isn’t enough to ensure that confidence. that’s why you need to devote some more time to supervise training.
Drive around the neighborhood and the city together, explore the routes he’ll be using a lot to learn the maneuvers, road signs installed alongside those roads, etc. Stick to good weather and daylight at least during the first two weeks. Give direction warnings well in advance. Make sure that your teen has mastered the 360-degree awareness, got used to his car and is able to take the initiative before letting him drive solo.
Whether your teen is going to drive your car or his own, don’t let him do that until he’s on an auto insurance. Look up your state’s requirements regarding teen driving and car ownership and choose the best offer available in your local area. In most cases, adding your child to your own, existing auto insurance plan is the most affordable option.
Some parents are totally fine with purchasing their teenagers their first vehicle (it’s wonderful if you can do that), paying for gas, insurance, and auto repair expenses. Others think that if their child is claiming that he’s ready to take up the responsibility of driving a vehicle, he should be able to pay for his own gas and car maintenance. That decision is completely up to you and your family, but it should be made before the purchase of a vehicle.
No matter what you choose, you need to check the condition of your teen’s vehicle and make sure that it’s safe to drive. If you have extra money, spend it on teen driving safety. Consider getting your son/daughter a car with the latest safety equipment: cruise control and mitigation, blind-spot detection mechanisms, collision warning technology, dual-stage airbags, rearview cameras, etc.
Coaching your teen on driving is an amazing opportunity to spend some quality time together. Treat your child with respect, use a calm tone while correcting mistakes, encourage him even if he doesn’t do too well yet. Don’t use this time to talk about school, grades or uncompleted household chores. Your teen is quite excited to learn how to drive – so don’t ruin that experience for him.
Instead, make it more fun and memorable. Besides, cheerful atmosphere promotes learning. So, set your ‘parental’ voice and sarcastic comments aside, don’t yell at your driving teen and just have a great time while driving with your teen!