Eventually, all parents are asked the dreaded question, “Mom/Dad, can you teach me to drive?” Often, what ends up happening are some very tense moments including, “Stop, you’re going too fast!”, “Break now, you just ran a stop sign!”, and more. But it is part of our job as parents to teach our teens to be safe and responsible drivers. So, for those parents who are about to embark on the journey of teaching your teen to drive, we would like to offer a few tips to help make the process successful. We do also recommend that you enroll your teen in a formal driver’s education program. It will help keep your auto insurance premiums lower, and your teen will learn many good defensive driving lessons.
Tips for teaching your teen to drive
- Stay calm.
- Start in an empty parking lot.
- Teach your teen how to recognize hazards.
- Reinforce what is distracted driving.
- Teach them to plan their route before they start driving.
- Be sure that they understand the meaning of all the street signs.
- Reinforce school zone laws in the community.
- Give very specific instructions, and make sure that they understand what that means. Doing this will prevent the potential problems that can be caused by misunderstandings.
- Let your teen sit in the front passenger seat and explain to them some of the basic rules of the road.
- Teach them to drive in a sedan and not one that has a manual transmission.
- NO CELL PHONES. Not at all. Not even plugged into the entertainment system. Not even if the robot woman who lives in your car will read the text messages to you. None of it. Non-negotiable.
- Teach them how to deal with road rage, and to always stay calm.
- Teach the three second rule. This provides safe spacing when following another car at any speed. By noting when a car ahead of you passes a fixed point and counting your time to reach that point, you can determine whether your spacing is safe.
Take time and make it fun, and remember what it was like the first time you learned to drive.
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