Teaching your teenager to drive can be intimidating, especially if it’s your first time.
Follow these tips to ease your anxiety. They’re from Keys2Drive – the AAA Guide to Teen Driver Safety.
Practice, practice, practice. Plan for as much supervised practice driving as possible. It’s the key to helping your teen develop safe habits. AAA recommends teens complete 100 hours of supervised driving with a parent or guardian before being allowed to drive alone.
Set goals. Have a goal for each session, like focusing on accelerating and braking smoothly.
Be a good role model. Always buckle your seat belt and avoid distractions. Encourage your teen to do the same.
Take breaks. Stop every 20 minutes or so and review the past few minutes. If your teen did something dangerous behind the wheel, explain why it was dangerous and the potential consequences.
Agree on how to communicate before you drive. For example, establish that “right” will mean the direction rather than “OK.”
Variety helps. Vary the time of day, driving conditions and routes to give your teen confidence in various driving situations.
Progress to more challenging driving situations. These can include parking garages, urban areas and interstate driving.
Provide feedback. A driving coach should instruct. Comment on anything that requires a change in speed, direction or both.
Be patient. You and your teen may become stressed during these sessions. Remaining relaxed and even-tempered can go a long way toward reducing his or her anxiety and improving driving skills.
Be positive. Remember to point out and reinforce good driving behavior.
AAA’s insurance agents can help make sure you’ve got the right coverage to hit the road with a new driver. Click here for more.
Looking for more tips to help educate a young driver? Click here and read on! You can also share your experiences getting young drivers comfortable behind the wheel in the comments.