Simple Tips to Help Prepare Your Teen to Drive Alone
Watching your children grow up is the best thing in the world. Now that they have reached their teens, it’s time to prepare them for the concept of driving. In most states, the earliest a teen can get their permit to drive is 15 years old. At this time, they can drive around with an adult over 21 years old who is licensed. At this time, you need to prepare your child to start driving alone. The following tips can be used to help you teach your child to become a good driver.
Be the Coach
In the car, you need to establish yourself as the coach. You’re the one that’s offering the advice and your child should follow. Don’t talk down to them as a parent – this will only upset them, which isn’t good when they’re behind the wheel. If they’re doing something wrong, be very specific about what it is they did wrong and what they should do instead.
Let Your Teen Decide When They’re Ready
Not all 15-year olds are ready to learn how to drive. If it takes an extra year or two, then allow them to get comfortable with the idea before putting them behind the wheel. Once they show interest in it, then it’s time. This will prevent them from being overly anxious while behind the wheel – not a good thing.
Plan the Itinerary Ahead of Time
It’s good to know exactly where the two of you will be going on your practice trips. This way, there’s no confusion. Choose locations your teen is familiar with, so they can drive without you telling them where to go. The focus needs to be on their driving skill, not the directions to the destination. The place you choose should also have the least traffic and pedestrians possible to minimize the chances of getting into an accident.
Teach them Awareness
Instead of scolding them about their speed, choose to ask them questions that will make them aware. Ask what’s the speed limit and what different signs mean to ensure they remember and are paying attention to them. An oblivious driver is a dangerous driver.
Start Off in Empty Places
At the very beginning of your teachings, you should take your teen to empty parking lots to practice stopping, going, parking and turning. Once they get the hang of handling the vehicle, they can move on to operating it in populated areas. Next step should be lightly populated parts of the tone and low traffic. Last will be highways and parts of the city with heavy traffic.
Drive in Good Weather in the Beginning
It’s good to start off with good weather conditions when your teen driver first gets behind the wheel. But you don’t want to handicap them by only driving in sunny weather. Eventually, they need to drive in rain, snow and other common weather in your area. This way, they are familiar with how the car drives in different types of elements.
Reward your teen for doing a good job driving by buying them a gift. You can find great deals on Groupon from various merchants like Walmart, Finish Line and Aerie.