You set the example for how you expect your children to drive by the way you drive.
The old adage, actions speak louder than words, is certainly true in this situation.
If your teens see inconsistencies between the curriculum in driver’s education and
how you drive, they will be likely to dismiss the instruction and follow your example.
You must demonstrate consistently good driving habits long before your teen starts
asking for the car keys. Here are a few things to keep in mind when helping your
teen learn to drive.
- Make sure you offer instruction and driving experience for your teen in many different
traffic situations, including:
- Wet roads
- Busy interstates
- Rush hour traffic
- Rural roads
- Night driving
- Give directions to your teen in a calm, friendly voice. Harsh, stern directions
are less likely to be heeded.
- Give directions well in advance of when they are needed. “When you get to the intersection
at McDonald’s, we’ll need to turn left.”
- Compliment your teen frequently throughout your driving lesson. Positive words are
some of the best reinforcement.
- Be patient. It takes time to learn to drive, and some teens will catch on more quickly
- When teen drivers show the ability to handle more driving responsibility, allow
them to run short errands for you.
- Make it a family policy that the driver and passengers must buckle their seat belts
before the car moves an inch.
- Advise your teen when to apply the brakes before it becomes necessary to panic brake.
Remember, your teen does not have the same judgment or experience that you have.
- Provide more hours of supervised driving practice than required by law. You are
responsible for making sure your teen is adequately and appropriately trained.
Your teen is watching to see if you…
- Buckle up.
- Talk on a cell phone while driving.
- Tailgate other vehicles.
- Slow down for a yellow light or speed up to cross the intersection.
- Use your turn signals appropriately.
- Pass traffic using proper turn signals, timing and lanes.
- Become impatient with other drivers.
- Stay within the speed limit.
- Drive faster when you are late for an appointment.
- Keep the gas tank at least one-quarter full.
- Play the radio too loudly while driving.