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How to Teach a Teen to Drive: Things Parents Should Know

How do Parents Teach Teens to Drive

Teaching your teenage child how to drive can cause a lot of fear to every parent. Training your kid in the family’s dangerous and most expensive possession can cause tangible and real fears. If you are among the parents teaching your kids how to drive there are many things you should familiarise yourself with teaching your kid how to drive.

Things Parents Should Keep in Mind when Teaching Teen to Drive.

Stage 1: Learning about the Car

How to teach a teen to drive - learn about the car

This stage orients the kid to the general workings of the car and what the driver needs to know about the vehicle. Here, you can read the manual and perform some practical demonstration. At this stage your kid should learn:

  • How to ignite and stop the engine.
  • How to switch on and off the headlights and parking lights.
  • How to adjust the windscreen wipers and turn them on and off.
  • What the lights in the dashboard mean.
  • Fastening the seatbelts correctly.
  • Inflating the tires, checking the oil and fuelling the vehicle.
  • Changing a flat tire.
  • Steps to follow in the instant of an accident.

Ensure that your teenager is proficient in the skills taught at each stage before moving to the next one. Do not rush them but be patient with them.

Stage 2: Learning the Basic Skills

how to teach a teen to drive - learn the basic skills

This stage involves teaching the teenager how to operate the vehicle and making it do what the driver wants. This skill can be taught in an empty parking area and involves the following:

  • Signalling and making safe right and left turns.
  • Smoothly stopping the car.
  • How to shift gears correctly if using a manual vehicle.
  • Reversing the car safely and straight.
  • Making them aware of their surroundings in and outside the car.

Stage 3: Handling Distractions and Other Drivers

teaching your teens to drive - Handle Distraction

This stage involves your teenager familiarising themselves with the behavior of other drivers, pedestrians, and parked cars. You can start this step in a residential place until you are confident and then later on move to a multiple lane street later. Upon completion of this stage your teen should learn how to:

  • Drive safely via an intersection like four-way stops, uncontrolled intersections, and two way stops.
  • Safely and smoothly change lanes.
  • Maintain a safe distance between vehicles when in traffic.
  • Drive responsibly
  • Obeying traffic rules and regulations like driving within safe speed limits.
  • Cross railroad tracks safely.
  • Check blind spots and use side mirrors.

Stage 4: Parking

teach your teen how to park

Driving and parking are two different things. Most teen accidents are associated with getting in and out of parking lots. To learn about this skill set it is better to teach your teen in a residential street or an empty parking lot. At this stage your teen should be able to:

  • Park downhill and uphill safely.
  • Parallel park safely.
  • Pull into and out of a 90-degree parking space.
  • Park into and out of a diagonal parking space.
  • Safely make a U-turn.
  • Safely make a three-point turn.

Step 5: Advanced Skills

teach a teen to drive - advanced skills

The skills in this stage rely heavily on the skills learned in the previous stages. Do not start on stage 5 until you are comfortable that your teen has well understood the skills in the previous 4 stages. At the end of this stage your teen should be able to:

  • Safely drive in the freeway like maintaining safe driving distances, lane changing and merging.
  • Safely drive at night.
  • Safely drive in harsh weather like in snow, wet weather, and ice.

How to tell if your teens can drive alone?

Most parents are anxious at the thought of their kids being behind the wheels for the first time. It is a fact that a car accident is the leading cause of death among U.S teens and is greatest within the first few months of driving. Watching our teens drive is unavoidable and for most kids driving is the first step to an independent life.

However, the risk has been decreasing since the beginning of the implementation of mandatory practice hours. Despite the mandatory practice hours it is still hard to know the kind of driver that your child is. So here are some tips to help you know if your teen is ready.

*Makes good judgment

Ways to tell if teens can drive alone - makes good judgement

Safe driving habits begin outside of the car. If your kid earns good grades at school and makes sound judgments in other areas in life they may be responsible enough to drive.

*Follows traffic rules and regulations

Follow Traffic Rules and Regulations

Most drivers think that some traffic rules and regulations are too strict and unnecessary. The arrivals to these laws are complex and a new teenage driver who has no experience is likely to break these rules. Never let your teen drive alone if they are breaking the rules and regulations hen you are in the vehicle.

*Avoid peer pressure

Check if teen can drive alone - avoid peer pressure

A majority of teenagers are impressionable. If you think that your teenage kid is likely to drive under the influence of alcohol or bend to peer pressure do not let them drive until you figure out how to solve this problem.

*Check out if you and your teen is scared

how to tell if kids can drive alone - check if your teen is scared

Fear is normal and is present in either the parent or the teen or both. Getting into an accident during the first year of driving is very high. Some teens are daredevils from the start while others are fearful. Having the impression of your precious cargo being behind the wheels can be very terrifying.

Maturity comes with age and you do not have to push them if they are not ready to drive. You can also hire a driver who will be easy on them and help them build confidence with time.

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Driving is an essential part of our lives. Everyone has driven a vehicle at some point in time in their lives. You should remind your teen that driving is a privilege and can be taken away within a blink of an eye. Driving gives people the freedom to do many different things. The feeling of getting in the car and going anywhere you want, when you want is very great. However, you should keep safey in mind when you are teaching your teenage son or daughter to drive.

editor image

Thomas Jones

chief Editor