Tips for When Your Teen Is Learning To Drive

Apr 24

Photo by State Farm

Teens have a lot to learn when it comes to driving; who better to learn from than an actual teenager? Everything Driving’s resident teenager, Jailyn, discusses teen driving topics in an effort to help keep other teens safe on the road. This time she covers the do’s and dont’s when your teen is learning to drive.

Do you remember being a teenager and learning to drive? If so, you should also remember how stressful it can be. Learning to drive has not gotten any easier over the years. Being a teen driver, I know how hard it is to be taught to drive, especially when you’re being taught by your parents. Any parents out there searching for an efficient way to teach their teenager how to drive have come to the right place.

Teenagers tend to be more sensitive than parents realize, especially under high pressure situations like learning to drive. If you want to teach your teen effectively and have a pleasant experience, here are a few do’s and don’ts that can help.

DON’T have your teen drive in unfamiliar territory!

Take your teen driver to learn in a part of town they know well and are comfortable with. Start in a large parking lot if there is one available and gradually make your way onto the road.

DO make sure your teen driver gets a chance to learn to drive in a variety of situations.

Practice driving in traffic, in rain, and at night with your teen before they find themselves alone in any of these situations.

DON’T use the teen driver’s time behind the wheel to complain about unrelated issues.

When your teen is behind the wheel they don’t need to worry about things likes chores, school, or their plans for the weekend.  Focusing on these unrelated topics may give the impression that they aren’t there to learn to drive, but to be lectured.

DO focus on  teaching your teen.

 Be sure to praise your teen when they do something well.  At the same time, don’t be too easy on them.  They  are there to learn to drive and this information could save their life one day. When they do something wrong, correct them by calmly explaining what went wrong and how it can be avoided.

DON’T lose your patience with them.

Yelling and scolding is only going to make your teen more nervous and may discourage them from driving or damage their confidence. Avoid this at all costs.

DO practice with your teen multiple times. 

Your teen won’t know how to drive after one training session with you. Spend as many hours behind the wheel with your teen before their driving test as you can. The more practice with a calm, effective parent they can get the better.

DON’T prevent your teen from driving because you are nervous.

As the parent you need to stay calm and support your teenager. If they feel they are able to handle a certain situation, don’t hold them back. Instead, give them the tools they need to accomplish it safely.

DO continue to explain the rules of the road when your teen is not driving.

While you or someone else else is driving, talk about traffic laws or show them how to do certain things you know they struggle with. Having them pay attention to another driver and their methods can be helpful the next time that they have to do the same thing.

DON’T let your teen learn from a friend!

 Teen drivers usually ignore many important rules of the road, so learning from a friend is not only counterproductive, but it is also dangerous.

DO set limits.

A lot of accidents happen at night, so limit nighttime driving. Another good limit to set is the amount of passengers they are allowed to have in their car. Some parents find that creating a contract for their teen drivers helps enforce these limits.

When the time comes to teach your teenager to drive, make sure to stay calm and, most importantly, be supportive and encouraging.  For more advice and information about driving safety, come back to visit us on the blog and follow us on our social networks!

Jailyn Laue

As Everything Driving's resident teenager, Jailyn writes from the point of view of a teen driver.

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