As a parent of a teen driver, you may think that them learning to drive is as simple as taking a driver’s ed course. However, the truth is that this is just the beginning. Even after they’ve gotten their driver’s permit or license, have a car, and they are insured to drive, they’ll still need your guidance to help them prepare for the road.
However, teaching your teen to drive isn’t always the easiest task. Emotions can start to run high, and things might get heated quickly. Guiding them through the driving process doesn’t have to be a headache, however. With the right tips, you can ensure that the process goes smoothly.
Emphasize The Importance Of Following Distance
One of the biggest causes of teen accidents is failing to maintain a safe following distance. Explain thoroughly how critical it is to keep a safe amount of space between you and the car in front of you. Stress that when you increase your speed, you are increasing your need to increase your following distance.
As a new driver, they may not have the instinct to stop suddenly. Show them examples on the road of when their following distance should be bigger. A great time to practice is in adverse weather conditions.
Be a Good Example
One of the most important qualities of a good teacher is not only passing on your knowledge but also leading by example. Don’t tell your teenager to follow certain habits while neglecting to do them yourself.
Ultimately, they’re going to follow your lead more than your words. Even though you may have already fallen into the habit of certain seemingly “innocent” things like setting your GPS after the car has started, it’s illegal and can seriously hurt someone. Always make sure that you are leading by example. Children are watching more than you might think!
Set Ground Rules
It’s essential for your teenagers to understand that with the freedom of driving comes a considerable amount of responsibility. They should take it seriously and respect the rules that you set in place.
For example, they should follow any curfews that you enforce as well as any limits set in place for how many people they can have in their car at a time. In many states, teens are only allowed to have up to a certain amount of other teens in the car with them.
One of the most effective ways to make sure your teen stays safe while driving is to practice as much as possible. Conduct regular training sessions on a schedule. Even though you may easily get distracted chatting or making small talk, it’s important to stay as focused as possible. Treat it like a class, and you’ll both get the most out of it!