6 Tips To Remember When Teaching Your Teen To Drive
The open road in their sights, the keys to freedom in their hand… Teaching your teen to drive is one of the most rewarding gifts you can give your child. But it’s not all reverse parks and three-point turns, so here are six tips to remember when your teenage son or daughter gets behind the wheel.
1. The Responsibility
Chances are you’ve been driving for a while, which makes it equally likely you’ve picked up some bad habits or antiquated road rules along the way. So before you get into the passenger seat and let your child loose to practise on the open road, take the opportunity to brush up on some road rules yourself. That way, you can impart the best habits to your child – not the nasty nuances of day-to-day driving.
2. The Rules
By the time your teen has their learner plates, they should be across basic road rules, but it pays to sound them out and test that knowledge. As they prepare for their written test and before they get behind the wheel, seize the opportunity to present them with different scenarios to instil this knowledge. That way, when you go from theory to reality, the road rules should be second nature.
3. The Reality
Cars are big, bulky and unyielding, so give your teen space to initially learn the fine arts of steering, indicating, braking and gear changes without the pressure of other road users. That may mean spending extensive time driving in an empty carpark or vacant housing estate to get them comfortable operating a vehicle. Then, and only then, are they ready to join others on the road.
4. The Reassurance
Once you hit the road, remember to see things through the eyes of your child. Lane changing, merging, roundabouts and school zones may be second nature to you, but for learners this is a new environment coupled with unfamiliar manoeuvres like indicating and steering. Patience and reassurance is the key. It’s a practice of ‘steady does it’ and repetition. It also means you have to be acutely aware of the surrounds and anticipate what may occur.
5. The Repercussions
Receiving a driver’s licence is a responsibility, not a right, and this should be instilled in your teen. Be clear that when driving you have a safety obligation to yourself, other road users and your passengers. That means driving within the speed limit and without distractions like mobile phones. It’s an unfortunate reality that accidents are more likely for younger drivers, so prime them with emergency contacts, such as the number of traffic lawyers like GC Traffic Lawyers, and the details of their insurer.
6. The Rewards
The hours shared with your teen learning to drive can be some of the most treasured in your relationship. You are arming them with skills to negotiate the world in a whole new way that will give them a freedom never enjoyed before. Like most elements of parenting, it’s about instilling the best tools you can offer and then allowing them to utilise them independently.
What part of teaching your teen to drive are you dreading or looking forward to most? Share your experiences and thoughts in the comments below.
Brought to you by GC Traffic Lawyers