5 Things to Teach Your Teenage Driver
Teaching your teenager to drive a vehicle can be a very nerve wrecking experience. Parents want to make sure that their child is taking driving seriously and they are learning the rules of the road. There are several things to teach your teenager driver that go beyond making sure there is gas in the fuel tank.
- Check the Car Basics
Before the driving lesson begins, take some time to show your teen where everything is located in the car. Be sure to go over which pedal is the gas and which pedal is used for breaking. Also, make sure the teen knows how to turn on the:
- Windshield wipers
- Turn signals
- Emergency signal
- High beams
Turn off the radio and make sure that the teen does not have their cell phone within reach and ideallyturned on silent. This will help you minimize distractions on the road. It can be hard for a teen to stay focused and when you are teaching them how to drive they need to be alert and paying attention. Allow the teen to adjust the mirrors so that they can clearly see. This is very important when on the road. Tell them that they should be checking the mirrors, especially their rearview mirrors, so they know what is around them at all times.
- Give Them Advanced Warning
This is where many parents make a mistake by telling their teen to stop the car or turn at the last minute. Parents often yell out “Turn here” as their teen is passing the turn. Be sure to give them enough warning so they can slow the car down, turn the blinkers on, and prepare for the turn. This can be difficult for most parents to remember but your teen may not know the direction you want them to go in.
- Review the Basics
You may think that teens know the basic rules of the road, but they may not have been paying as much attention as you thought. They may not understand the importance of following these general rules. Remind them to obey the speed limit. Going too fast is dangerous and will also get them a ticket. There is also less time to stop in case of an emergency situation. Always put the seat belt on. This may seem like common sense, but most teens ignore this. The car should never have more passengers than seatbelts. Do not cram as many friends as you can in the back seat.
- Never Assume Anything
It is important to teach the teen how to drive safely. Not only do you need to focus on what they can do to be safe, but you also need to teach them some defensive driving skills to be aware of others on the road. Never assume what another driver is going to do. For example, just because another driver has their turn signal on does not mean they are going to turn. Some people forget to turn it off. Do not assume they are going to move if they are too close to the line. Try to stay out of their way. Always be on the lookout for the aggressive driver. If someone is tailing, tell the teen to pull over and allow them to pass. Never get into an argument with another person on the road.
- Making Turns
It is important to teach the teen how to turn properly. Never make a left-hand turn when there is no turn signal or green light. Do not pull around another car in your lane when there is oncoming traffic. This does not give you the right of way. Give the cars behind you plenty of time to react when you are using your turn signal. After you have made the turn in the car, be sure to turn the blinker off. You need to teach your child that if they do not think there is enough time or space to pass it is better to wait.
These are some of the things that you should be teaching your teen driver. The teenager must remember that driving is a privilege and it is not a right. Learning to drive and being safe on the road will take a lot of responsibility and the teen needs to realize that this.