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.