Teaching your teen to drive? Follow these 3 tips
The state of Ohio requires teen drivers to garner 50 hours of driving experience after they earn their learner’s permit. However, a parent or guardian must ride in the front seat for those hours, potentially causing anxiety and stress for the parent and the teen. Here are three tips that could help you breathe a little easier and keep the arguments to a minimum while teaching your teen to drive.
Tips for Teaching Your Teen to Drive
1. Begin with easy roads and progress to more difficult conditions.
Many parents would prefer that their teen drive on a quiet road, without any inclement weather conditions. This is often when they allow their teen to practice as well, which could be harmful in the long run. According to KidsHealth, it is best to start with easier routes and sunny days. As your teen gains experience, give them opportunities to practice in the snow and rain, in urban areas, on highways and in other more challenging conditions. Doing so will ultimately prepare your teen for any driving situation and avoid any chances of getting in a car accident.
2. Teach skills, not just how to handle the car.
Teen drivers often have to practice in a parent’s car, increasing concerns about how the car is handled from the parent’s perspective. Battling over how hard your teen is hitting the breaks isn’t nearly as important as teaching your teen how to merge onto highways, spot potential hazards and make left turns while crossing lanes.
Maneuvering skills such as parallel parking are a common point of contention when teaching your teen to drive. However, it is rare for someone to be killed while parallel parking. Developing the skills that could mean the difference between life and death will help ensure that your teen returns home safely after a drive.
3. Be specific when correcting your teen.
If your teen makes a mistake, be very specific when correcting their error. For example, if they are driving too fast, say, “Your speed is over the limit,” rather than “Slow down! I’ve told you that a hundred times!” Your teen won’t get as frustrated or be as tempted to argue while driving, and will learn how to correct their mistakes.
It also helps if you have your teen talk through their thought process while driving. For example, they could say, “I see a large truck slowing down. I’m reducing my speed so I can stop quickly.” This way, it is clear as to why they are making specific decisions, and it creates a conversation between parent and teen driver.
Want more tips? Check out this beginner’s guide to driving.