Teaching a teenager how to drive is one of the most important things that a parent will do when raising a child. If a teen learns how to drive safely, it will increase the odds that he or she will remain safe during high school, college and beyond. Here are some ways that parents can turn their teens into safe and effective drivers:
Set a Good Example
Your teen isn’t going to want to adhere to the posted speed limit if mom or dad routinely exceeds that limit. A teen isn’t going to want to pass on using a cell phone while driving if mom or dad does too. Therefore, start teaching your teen how to be a good driver by modeling what it looks like to be one as early as possible.
Don’t Be Overbearing
There is a lot that a new driver has to learn. The last thing that he or she needs is a parent panicking or being overbearing in the vehicle. While there is nothing wrong with mentioning your child’s speed or recommending the safest route to get somewhere, you don’t want to point out every mistake that he or she makes. If you have concerns, mention them when you get home or to your destination.
Talk About the Rules of the Road
It is important that your teen understands road markings and signs. For instance, if there is a yield sign, your son or daughter should understand what that means. A failure to yield to oncoming traffic could result in a traffic ticket or an accident. It may also be worthwhile to talk about rules regarding left turns and lane changes.
Hire a Driving Instructor
Even if you consider yourself to be a good teacher, it may be a good idea to hire a driving instructor anyway. This person can use sophisticated teaching tools and an encouraging environment to help your child learn to be a safe driver. In some cases, your child can take his or her road test after completing the course, which may save you time and aggravation. At the same time, your new driver will learn how to be safe while on his or her own.
Teaching a young person how to drive can be a challenge as some teens may believe that they know everything. However, with patience, practice and a positive attitude, your son or daughter can be a competent and safe driver both now and later in life.