It’s finally time–your teenager is hitting the road by themselves. You’ve made sure to get the safest car and given them as many lectures as you could about how to stay safe on the road. You may think there’s nothing else you can do to keep your teenager safe on the road, but there are a few simple and easy tips for making sure your teen is safe on the road!
Driver’s ed is one of the best things you could sign your teenager up for. Driver’s ed will teach your teen about road signs, common procedures, and what to do in an accident. Many driver’s ed programs also take your teen out on the road in a specialized car where the passenger, in this case, the driver’s ed instructor, also has a brake. These types of programs are especially beneficial for teenagers, who don’t have much driving experience yet.
When your teenager is learning to drive, traffic can be much scarier for them than it is for you. Remember that you’ve had years to practice driving in traffic, and your teen hasn’t. When it comes to traffic, make sure to avoid the days, times, and areas that have the most traffic. To do this, look at statistics such as Memorial Day accident statistics. Also, keep in mind that most traffic happens in the morning when people are heading to work or in the afternoon when people are coming back from work. Make sure to avoid this to keep your teen feeling confident on the road!
It can be frustrating, and even scary, for you when your teenager starts driving for the first time. However, yelling at your teen while they’re behind the wheel will make them scared to drive, and can potentially put both you and your teen in a dangerous situation. Ideally, you and your teen should get in the car with neutral emotions and continue to stay calm no matter what happens on the road. Coach your teen as they’re driving, but make sure to do so gently and calmly. This way, both you and your teen will have a positive and successful experience as you teach your teen how to drive!
Teach the Basics
When it comes to actually teaching your teenager how to drive, you should first focus on the basics. Your teenager should be familiar with their car and all the parts of a car before they set out on the road. This way, if anything happens to the car, whether it’s during a drive or after, your teen will know what to do without hesitation. To make sure you teach your teen everything they need to know before they start driving and to keep track of all the skills you need to teach them, you should create a checklist. This way, you’ll be sure that your teen knows everything they should and is as safe on the roads as possible.
If your teenager is going to be driving at night, there are a few extra things you should go over with them. Make sure they know how to adjust their mirrors and seats so they’re comfortable. Nighttime driving can be tiring, so make sure they know to take breaks if they feel sleepy. It’s also important to go over defensive driving tips, as there are more drunk drivers on the road at night.
You’ve probably lectured your teenager about this already, but it bears repeating–no cell phones while driving! If your teenager must use their phone, tell them to pull over in a safe spot first. Using a cell phone while driving is one of the most common distractions for drivers, so it’s important to make sure your teen is aware of the dangers.
Before your teenager hits the road, go over what to do in different types of weather conditions. Make sure they know how to properly use their windshield wipers and headlights. They should also know how to drive in different types of weather, such as rain, snow, and ice. Going over these things before they have to deal with them will help reduce stress if they find themselves in bad weather while driving.
No one likes thinking about accidents, but it’s important to go over what to do if one happens. Make sure your teenager knows how to call for help and exchange insurance information with the other driver. They should also know to move the car to the side of the road if possible and not to try to drive if the car is damaged.
Teaching your teenager how to drive can be a stressful experience, but following these tips will help make it go as smoothly as possible. By staying calm, teaching the basics, and going over different driving scenarios, you’ll help your teen feel confident and safe on the road in no time!