Your teen is turning 16 soon. Many parents dread this period. Not just because teenagers at that age can be difficult to deal with but also because they’re legally eligible to take a driving test and obtain a license.
Having your teen behind the wheel of a car can be the stuff of nightmares for many parents. This is understandable since the National Center for Health Statistics lists motor-vehicle accidents as the leading cause of death among people in their teens.
If you’re lucky, your teen may decide to delay getting their driving license and wait for a time they are more mature. According to the AAA Foundation, only 54 percent of teens that participated in the survey said they had a driving license by the time they were 18 years old. These findings show that teens are waiting longer to get their license.
While this may seem like good news, young drivers are still considered reckless. It should come as no surprise that insurance premiums rise when parents add their teens to the policy. You may score a better rate by changing your insurance provider even after you have included your teen on your policy.
If you want your teen to observe the law and be a more responsible driver, it’s a good idea to instill these principles yourself. There’s no better way to do this than to teach your teen how to drive.
The following are some tips to help you remain calm and cool during those trying trips:
- Practice in a safe place
The first step to ensuring that your teen learns how to drive properly is to identify a safe place where they can practice. This space should be free of traffic and other obstacles. A long empty stretch of road or an empty parking lot are great places to start.
- Agree on some ground rules
Agree on some basic rules before you begin the driving lessons. These rules may include establishing roles and ensuring that distractions such as smartphones are turned off while driving. Rules offer guidelines for lessons.
- Get the basics down
Begin with the basics necessary for driving a vehicle before you hit the open road. Make sure your teen understands just how important it is to learn these basics before you hit the highway. Learning the basics will not only help them to gain more confidence and become safer drivers, but it will also help to develop more confidence in your teen. Once these basics are mastered, it will be much easier on both of you when you hit the open road.
- Learn to ignore slip ups
It can be hard to ignore slip ups but doing so is essential to their development. Think about when you were first learning how to drive. You probably made just as many mistakes or even more. Expect your teen to make mistakes and be prepared to accept them. The whole idea of learning how to drive is to gain confidence behind the wheel and avoid slip ups on the road, where it counts most.
- Give them a little free reign
The best way to build your teen’s confidence is to be confident in their abilities. This often means giving them a little more freedom and allowing them to tackle bigger challenges. Allow them to drive on the highway once in a while (only after they have their learner’s permit and a licensed adult in the passenger seat). This will go a long way in helping your teen improve their skills quickly.
Don’t panic when faced with the prospect of teaching your teen to drive. Take it as an opportunity to instill good driving habits in them.