Teaching Your Teen to Drive Is Your Teen Ready To Drive

Here are some questions you may want to ask yourself before you start the conversation.


  • In general, does your teen show good judgment?
  • Do they generally resist peer pressure when it comes to risky or harmful behavior?
  • Is your teen willing to follow state driving laws and your rules?
  • Does your teen seem comfortable behind the wheel?
  • Does your teen truly understand what safe driving means? In a recent Allstate Foundation survey teens differentiated between good drivers and safe drivers. For example, teens consider good drivers to be those who can handle a car at high speeds while a safe driver follows all the rules.

Before you hit the road:

  • Discuss the route, noting watch-outs (busy intersections, four-way stops, etc.).
  • Lower the vanity mirror on the passenger side so you can use it as your rear view mirror.
  • Take a deep breath and remind yourself to be calm and patient. Remember-not all parents are cut out to be driving teachers. If youre not, ask your spouse or an adult you trust to take on the job.

Behind the wheel:

  • Give clear directions well before any maneuver.
  • Use a gentle tone of voice.
  • Encourage your teen to talk about what they see and what they plan to do.
  • Dont distract them by talking too much.
  • Watch for signs of stress or anxiety (white knuckles, tense arms, etc.).
  • Be generous with your praise.
  • If your teen makes a mistake, ask them to pull off the road and discuss what went wrong.

Back at home:

  • Evaluate the driving experience together.
  • Give your teen a chance to point out their mistakes.
  • Praise your teen for what they did well.
  • Ask your teen what they could have done differently.

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