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.