Teaching a teen driver – how to do it well
If you plan to teach your teenager to drive, it is very important that you are up-to-date with all the driving rules and regulations in your state. Apart from knowing the rules, the emphasis on safety is crucial to a teen driver.
Here are some recommendations and steps that you should follow before you set out with your teen.
Teen driving: parent taught recommendations
Step 1: Know the rules
Visit your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles or Motor Registry to download an electronic copy, or obtain a physical copy, of the rules. Pick up a new driver’s booklet (most states should have one). Read through the information thoroughly before the first lesson with your teen.
Step 2: Teen driver study time
Your teen should read all the rules you have read in Step 1. The teen driver needs to know the rules before sitting in the driver’s seat of a car.
Step 3: Check your insurance
The teen driver must be added to your insurance policy or you must have secured a new policy for the teen. Check our articles on Car Insurance for Teen Drivers in US, Car Insurance for Teen Drivers in Australia and Saving on Car Insurance.
Step 4: Check vehicle
Make sure that your vehicle is well maintained and that the lights, indicators, brakes and airbags are all working. Teach your teen the best practices for vehicle maintenance and how to spot problems before they arise. Teen drivers should know how to charge a car battery, change a tire and what to do in case of a breakdown or an accident.
Step 5: Practice control of vehicle
If danger crops up, you need to intervene and take control of the vehicle your teen is driving in. Practice doing so with your teen in the car. Tell your teen to not react when you take over temporarily.
Step 6: Going driving
When you start the driving lesson:
- set an example for your teen when you are sitting behind the wheel by showing him the proper driving methods.
- teach the teen the steps needed to start a car, release the handbrake and show the teen the positions required for both feet.
- start slowly in a quiet area. An empty parking lot is ideal if you can find one. Otherwise, a low traffic area is the next alternative.
- devote your time teaching the teen to drive in easy to increasingly difficult conditions, and to all different types of parking possible.
Step 7: More driving
The importance of driving experience cannot be understated. The more time your teen devotes to driving practice, the better a driver your teen will be. Practice in all traffic, road and weather conditions.
Step 8: Debriefing
After each lesson, go through the lesson with your teen, recapping important teaching moments for your teen’s benefit.