Tips for Teaching Your Teen to Drive
Your kid has grown up and it’s time for them to start learning how to drive. Taking time to teach your teen how to drive can be a great bonding experience, but it could lead to some hectic problems if you’re both unprepared. To keep your teen safe and give them proper instruction, you need to be sure that you’re teaching them the proper rules of the road and practice properly. Here are some teenage driving tips that can help you make you a better teacher and your teen a smarter driver.
Before You Begin
Contact your auto insurance provider to see if your teen is covered under your plan when using your car for driving lessons. You may need to get additional protection if you plan on having your teen drive your car regularly. Research your state’s teen driving laws to know when and how to get a learner’s permit. Now that all the proper forms are filled out, it’s time for an introduction.
Reintroduce Your Teen to Your Vehicle
Up until this point, your teen has never known the driver’s perspective when sitting inside a car. It’s important for your teen to be reintroduced in your car, only this time not as a passenger. Give them time to get familiar with it before starting the engine. Teach them how to turn on the headlights, use the windshield wipers, adjust the mirrors, and other functions of the car. Teach them what certain icons mean on the dashboard. Once they become familiar with the controls and feel comfortable, it’s time to take the car out of the garage.
The next step is for your teen to feel out the vehicle from behind the wheel. Take your teen and the car to an empty parking lot or other uncrowded safe location to learn the basic controls. Let them press on the accelerator and touch the brakes in order to feel out and gauge the car’s response time. Have them learn how to parallel park and back into parking spaces. Once they have mastered basic maneuvering, it’s time to take the car out for a spin.
Start With Low-Traffic Areas and Streets
In order to ease your teen into driving well, It’s best to start off slow in low traffic areas to reduce stress and decrease the risk of an accident. Stay on roads where the speed limit is under 35 M.P.H. This will allow them to comfortably learn how the car functions and boost their confidence.
During these beginning driving lessons, teach them and have them practice the following:
- Using the turn signals
- Changing lanes
- Maintaining speed
- Scanning for possible hazards
- Smooth braking, gradually slowing to a stop
- Smooth acceleration to the posted speed limit
- Proper turn speed
- Properly approaching intersections
- Determining who has the right of way
- Making u-turns
- Using turning lanes
- Keeping a proper distance between other drivers
- Sharing the road with bicyclists and motorcycles
Once they have mastered beginner skills and become comfortable driving on slower roads, it is time for the next challenge.
Highway Driving Teaching Guidelines
Highway driving can make your teen driver anxious, so aim for driving during quieter times of the day to properly practice without the stress of rush hour traffic. Before you do this, you must be sure that your teen driver can react quickly and calmly within the faster traffic.
While driving on the highway, you should teach your teen to:
- Check blind spots when changing lanes
- Calmly drive near large trucks
- Merge into traffic safely
- Identifying road signs and exits
- Pass other cars safely
- Be overtaken by faster drivers
- Be a defensive driver while maintaining speed
- Properly estimate stopping distance
- Navigate toll booths
- Keep a safety space distance around your vehicle in case you need to pull over
Driving in Poor Conditions
Once your teen displays a solid fundamentals in driving, you should schedule a driving session when it is raining, snowing, and at nighttime. This helps them learn how to spot hazards in the darkness and the importance of keeping a slower speed during slick conditions. It also teaches them how to stay calm when there is fog or other instances of low visibility.
After Everything is Mastered
Once you think your teen has learned it all, it’s time for them to take their driver’s test. Once they pass, they’ll likely want to start using your vehicle regularly. Have a talk with your teen create a Parent-Teen Driving Contract to establish rules and the consequences if the teen gets breaks any traffic laws. It can also help spell out who pays for gas or insurance when your teen gets to drive your car. At the end of it all, you have a safe, informed driver on the road.
It’s important for your teen to have car insurance coverage when they are learning to drive. Cost-U-Less can get your teen covered with an affordable, quality insurance plan that fits your needs. Give us a call or get a free car insurance quote online today!