When your teen first gets behind the wheel, there’s a lot of risk involved. As a parent or guardian, your first priority is to ensure they drive safely, especially when they’re out on their own. Use these four tips to prepare to ride in the passenger’s seat while your teen is driving, and perhaps more importantly, to prepare your teen for driving on their own.
- Define the right attitude. The first step to proper driving instruction is setting the right tone. Let your teen know that any advice, instruction or direction you give is meant to help them improve their driving skills and safety. Try to keep a calm voice and be patient and understanding. Learning to drive can be stressful, and remaining calm and patient will put your teen at ease.
- Daylight is your friend. It’s a good idea to first start out practicing safe driving during daylight hours. Choose a quiet, non congested area, like a vacant parking lot. As your teen’s driving skills and confidence improve, you can graduate to driving in different weather conditions, times of day and traffic situations.
- Don’t be afraid to demonstrate. It’s important to allow your teen to make decisions on their own while they’re practicing driving. Some independence will help them learn and grow as a young driver. But if you find yourself in a situation that needs fixing, have them pull over and demonstrate the correct and safe way to do it.
Your teen is under a lot of pressure when they first start driving. Keep these tips in mind when you first step into the passenger’s seat while your teen is driving. Have the right attitude, remain calm, be patient and clearly communicate to your teen how driving is a significant responsibility. Over time, your teen’s driving skills, confidence and comfortability will improve, and you can expose them to new driving situations. Buckle up and prepare your teen for a lifetime of safe driving skills.