Teaching your teen to drive can be a scary, daunting responsibility before you want him or her to be a safe driver. You can’t rely solely upon a driver’s education book or class to teach your teen because practice is an essential part of learning to drive. Here are three tips to make you more comfortable when teaching from the passenger’s seat.
Start With the Basics
Make sure your teen understands the basics of driving. He or she may already be familiar with traditional traffic safety signs, but make sure he or she is also aware of what different dashboard icons mean. Teens can’t be safe drivers if they don’t know what indicates the vehicle has low tire pressure or an engine problem. Make sure your kids have a thorough understanding of how their vehicles operate so they know what to do if something goes wrong.
Offer Plenty of Practice Time
As with any skill, practice makes perfect when it comes to driving. Your teens probably won’t be great drivers the first time they get behind the wheel, but instead of restricting them because of this, you need to provide them with numerous opportunities to improve their skills. If you aren’t confident letting them drive on the open road, take your teens to a rural area or empty parking lot to let them practice without the fear of running into anything. Take a few traffic cones with you and set them up to designate parking spaces so you can teach your teen to maneuver the care correctly. As he or she becomes more confident behind the wheel, you can start traveling short distances on busy streets so he or she gets used to traffic. The goal is to have a completely comfortable driver when he or she turns sixteen and attempts to get a license.
Teach in Different Weather Conditions
You may be tempted to only let your teen drive during favorable weather conditions but this practice only sets him or her up for failure. Once teens get their licenses, they drive in all types of weather conditions so you need to make sure they stay comfortable behind the wheel whether it is snowing, raining or sunny.
You have a responsibility to teach your teen to be a good driver. Although the process can be scary, you will feel more confident in your teen’s ability to drive if you use these three tips as part of your teaching method.