Is Your Teen Driver Roadworthy?
When kids grow up, the inevitable happens — they get their driver’s license. Suddenly, you’re destined to sleepless nights and a graying coif while your teen driver is out on the road.
Luckily, you can manage some of the anxiety of having a teen driver in the family. That’s done simply by being the one to teach your young motorist the skills needed to traverse the trails. You’ll keep your teen driver safer, as well as the rest of the drivers on the road.
Teach Responsible Driving
It comes through a combination of teaching from the passenger seat (that’s called instruction) and from the driver’s seat (teaching by example). Your teen driver watches how you conduct yourself when you drive, often mimicking your actions in their own driving habits.
You can teach your young’un well by showing them responsibility in your own driving. Drive at or below the posted speed limit, be courteous to other motorists, and drive according to the road conditions.
There’s no question that you’re going to have a panic attack when your teen driver is behind the wheel. It’s just a matter of time. Keeping your cool is critical, otherwise your teen will start to equate driving with stress. That’s not cool.
When there’s correction required, don’t scream or reach for the panic handles. Give quick, clear instruction in a controlled manner. And reaching for the steering wheel is a sure way to cause an accident.
Encourage Skills Development
The important skills like parking, merging into traffic, and proper use of signals and controls can be taught in a parking lot — preferably an empty one at first. It allows your teen driver the opportunity to make mistakes without consequences, and reinforces learning through repetition. After all, driving becomes second nature to most people because of repetition.
Involve Your Teen Driver in Maintenance
Driving isn’t only behind the wheel. It also involves maintenance in the form of car washes, fuel fill-ups, and fluid maintenance. Keep your teen involved in these aspects, including the costs of them, to help them understand the responsibilities that come with car ownership.