Learning to drive can be nerve-wracking. Teaching your teen how to drive can be just as stressful.
Managing that stress is key to helping your teen master the road. Here at The Next Street we want to get your teen on the easiest road to their license.
So, here are some “Do’s” to making the process go smoothly.
DO Remove all Distractions
Turn off your cell phone and ask your teen to put away their phone. This will create good habits to practice and for the future.
Turn down or off the music as you guide your teen through the roads.
Take these few precautions to create an environment focused on the road with quick reaction times in case of a problem.
DO Stay Calm
Realize your new driver wants to be the best driver possible. Remember they’re going to make mistakes.
Try to stay calm and most importantly don’t get emotional. If your teen does (they will) make a mistake be positive!
Point out the mistake and follow up by reflecting on a time they did a great job on the same skill. A compliment makes the pointing out the error seem less harsh.
Then continue with some more coaching on how they can prevent making the same mistake in the future.
DO Your Homework!
Make sure you know and enforce them. Not following the laws could result in getting a ticket or even worse, getting your license suspended.
Knowing and enforcing the laws can help keep your teen and their friends out of harm’s way and trouble with the law.
DO Have a Plan
When taking your teen out to practice, plan how you are going to spend your time together. Make sure you instruct your teen far enough in advance for them to comprehend what to do.
Yelling quick directions may make them nervous but giving them time to prepare for the next step will help them to relax. Start off in a parking lot.
Practice accelerating, braking, and steering in the lot. Once they get the hang of these skills head out to a quiet neighborhood.
Drive around the block practicing 20 – 30 left and right turns. You can also practice a three-point turn which may end up on their driving test.
Once you get a good handle of the neighborhood driving, head out onto a country road. Have your teen practice scanning the road, gently holding the wheel, and creating a search pattern where the teen focuses 12 seconds ahead of them in their lane.
Finally, once they master the country road start driving in light traffic. Now you can practice lane changes and turning onto main roads from side streets.
Be sure to teach your teen to signal, check mirrors and check over their shoulder before making any major moves. After you master the country road practice the same skills on a highway.
With these “Do’s” in mind, you’re now ready to head out with your teen in the driver’s seat. Go ahead, practice safe skills with your new driver. Good luck!
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