Your teenager is required to go through a decent amount of training in order to get their driver’s license, but having this in-class and in-car experience doesn’t mean your child will be ready for the road. In fact, there are plenty of things you as a parent must teach your child about the responsibility of driving before you let them head out on their own. If you have a teen who is close to driving age, then here are the seven things you must teach your kid before handing over the car keys.
Having a sense of direction doesn’t come natural to everyone, but it’s important you take time to teach your child direction to places he or she will be going often. For instance, make sure your child knows how to get to and from school, their job, the local hospital, and any place else they may frequent often. Just because they were in a car with you while you went to that place doesn’t mean they know where they’re located. Plus, it’s also important to ensure your child can understand basic directions to help them in case they ever find themselves in an unfamiliar place.
- Vehicle Safety Features
Some vehicles come with more safety features than others, but it’s important to teach your child about any that may come included with your vehicle. For instance, if you have a lane change assist feature, be sure your child understands how to use it in order to keep them safer while on the go. In addition, be sure to teach them about other safety features, such as how to use a rearview camera or the automatic collision control system. When they’re familiar with how the vehicle operates, it can make them more confident while on the go.
- Road Rules
Your child had to pass a test in order to get his or her license, but that doesn’t mean they know all the rules of the road. Be sure your child fully understands the rules of the road and the laws associated with them. For instance, most cities have curfews for children under 18 and some even limit the amount of people inside one vehicle. When your child knows these rules, you can rest assured they will be more likely to follow them.
- Your Rules
Aside from the rules distributed by your local law enforcement or state agency, it’s important your child know your own rules associated with driving. For instance, are there certain radius limits you have for them? Do you have a different curfew? Are they responsible for filling up the tank when they drive it? Every parent has their own set of rules, and talking openly and honestly about these with your child will help them fully understand the responsibility of driving.
Even though your child may have his or her license, it doesn’t mean he or she knows the basics of taking care of the car. Before you hand over the keys, make sure your child is fully aware of how to fuel up the car. This means taking them to the local gas station and ensuring they know exactly what to do. Plus, be sure they know how to fill up in any car they may be driving, as some are different than others and may have different tasks involved. Once your child knows how to put gas in the car, they’ll be one step closer to getting the keys.
While you never want your child to experience an auto accident, it’s important they are fully aware of what they should do if the situation ever arises. According to FastHelp.com, “Vehicle accidents happen too often, and knowing how to handle the situation and what comes after it puts you at a better advantage to get your needs met.” Teach your child about the importance of calling the police and calling you. Let them know about the importance of staying in their vehicle if they feel threatened, too. The more your child is educated on accidents, the better they’ll handle the situation if it arises.
If you are requiring your child to pay for any portion of the vehicle, their insurance, or their gas, you need to lay this out right away. Be sure your child understands what it costs to drive and that they can commit to making the necessary payments. This delivers a sense of responsibility they otherwise may not get.
Letting your child drive is exciting and scary at the same time, but ensuring your child knows these basics will help you rest easy when he or she hits the road.