A newly licensed driver is a big deal in households across America. For the new teen driver it means freedom and more responsibility. For parents of a teen driver it means no more chauffeuring from place to place.
Instead, the challenge might be worrying about or trusting their new driver. A parent’s worry about their teen driver is natural as young and new drivers are most at risk for accidents resulting in injury or death.
Although a teen driver’s first experiences behind the wheel can be nerve racking and a bit scary with parental involvement and learning how to handle certain road scenarios he or she can drive like a safe and experienced driver in no time.
Teens & Parents: Practice
Before a new driver receives his or her license, it’s crucial they know how to drive well. Not only is it important to be able to safely navigate a vehicle, a new driver must know how to think fast and how to handle certain issues they may encounter on the road. The best way to become a better prepared driver is to practice as much as possible.
Many parents maybe hesitant to drive with their teens as it can be stressful, cause an argument or even feel unsafe. Teens may not want to drive with a parent for the same reasons.
Here are some parent and teen driving tips to make the experience a positive and educational one:
• Be Encouraging
Parents, if you want your teen to be receptive to your advice and teaching, be encouraging and positive. Rather than white knuckling the dashboard and pointing out all the things he or she is doing wrong, compliment your teen on his or her quick response or consistent speed.
• Real World Driving
Many teens don’t get a true sense of driving until they are out on the road for the first time alone. While most teen drivers have a general idea of what to expect, if they haven’t driven in the “real world” it may be more stressful and scarier than it needs to be.
Parents, take your teen driving in all kinds of weather and different times of day. Go beyond the parking lots, get out on all types of roads from rural to interstate.
• Different Scenarios
On any given day, a driver of any age and experience can encounter an aggressive or distracted driver, a flat tire or a car accident. Prepare your teen for any of these scenarios and how to remain calm and safe.
Commitment to Safety
Before a teen gets his or her license, it’s important to talk about driving expectations. Parents and teens, together, should discuss and agree on expectations and consequences.
Teen drivers, if you want to be trusted by your parents and have the freedom to drive alone once you receive your driver’s license, you need to prove that you can be trusted to drive safely and responsibly.
Parents, once your driver makes the commitment to be a good driver, it’s up to you to commit to trust. It’s hard to let your new driver out on the road alone, but if you’ve taught them what you know and what to do, they will be better drivers because of you.
Before you give your teen driver the keys to the car, here are five things to do to make sure they have the knowledge and ability to stay safe on the road.