It’s a rite of passage for many teens – getting their driver’s license. For parents, it can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. You want your teen to be safe behind the wheel but don’t want to hover and stifle their independence. So how do you strike a balance? Here are some tips for teaching your teen to drive safely.
Be a Good Example
You can’t expect your teen to be a safe driver if you’re not one yourself. It sets a good example when they see you obeying traffic laws, using turn signals, and not texting while driving. You should also avoid road rage and aggressive driving. If your teen sees you losing your cool behind the wheel, they may think it’s okay for them to do the same.
Encourage Them to Take Driver’s Ed
Most states require teens to take some form of driver’s education before getting their licence. But, even if it’s not required, it’s still a good idea. Driver’s ed can teach your teen the basics of safe driving, from handling the car to obeying traffic laws.
Talk to Them About the Risks of Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of accidents among teen drivers. That’s because they’re more likely to be engaged in activities like talking on the phone, texting, or playing with the radio. So sit down with your teen and talk to them about the dangers of distracted driving. Let them know that it’s not worth risking their safety, or the safety of others, to send a quick text.
Make Sure They’re Comfortable Behind the Wheel
If your teen is uncomfortable behind the wheel, they’re more likely to have an accident. Make sure they’re comfortable with the car before letting them go out independently. They should know how to adjust the seat, mirrors, and climate control. They should also be familiar with the car’s features and controls. If you want to buy them their first car, ensure it is a safe option for their driving skill level. You can visit edmunds for a vast selection of options to choose from.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Once your teen has their permit, it’s time to start practising. But don’t just hand over the keys and send them on their way. Instead, you should go with them first so you can offer guidance and support. Then, you can start giving them more freedom as they get more comfortable behind the wheel. Just make sure you set some ground rules, like no driving after dark or in bad weather.
Focus on Critical Skills
Some skills are more critical than others when it comes to safe driving. These include things like merge lanes, parallel parking, and backing up. Make sure your teen is confident in these skills before letting them venture out independently.
Set Some Ground Rules
Before your teen starts driving, sit down and set some ground rules. This can include no driving after dark, no driving in bad weather, no passengers until they have more experience, and always wearing a seatbelt. You should also agree on consequences for breaking the rules, like losing driving privileges for a week.
Teaching your teen to drive can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. But if you take the time to prepare them, they’ll likely stay safe on the road.