One of the most exciting chapters in any teenager’s life is learning to drive. Getting your driver’s license provides a greater sense of independence and freedom, but also comes with a large amount of responsibility, making it easy for parents to worry about whether or not their teen is ready to get behind the wheel. The truth is, most teens’ driving habits are shaped by their parents, both from the driving habits they have observed as passengers over time and by the lessons they receive when they get behind the wheel for the first time. Driving lessons can put a lot of pressure on parents and aren’t as simple as health and safety training in the workplace from HSI.
If you’re about to begin driving lessons with your teen, here are a few things to keep in mind.
One of the most important yet difficult parts of driving that simply comes with experience over time is remaining consistently aware of your surroundings at all times. When teens get behind the wheel for the first time (or the first few times), it is safe to assume that they have not yet mastered this skill. In order to keep yourself and your child safe, it is important that you as a driving instructor are remaining actively aware of your surroundings at all times while your teen is behind the wheel.
Driving for the first time can be overwhelming as well as extremely challenging. When beginning driving lessons, you should start slow and in areas of town and on roads that are familiar and not too difficult. In other words, don’t force your teen to drive on the freeway the very first time they get behind the wheel. Start in your own neighborhood or in a part of your town that is familiar, such as near your child’s school or a frequently visited park. Be mindful of any challenges like sharp turns, one-way streets, or areas with high levels of pedestrian traffic which could be a stressor for new drivers.
Set a Good Example
It’s never too late to set a good example for your child, especially when it comes to their driving habits. In fact, once your child begins learning to drive themselves, it is likely that they will pay more attention to your driving habits than ever before. When you are in the car with your child, be sure to use good driving habits such as following the speed limit and limiting technology use at the wheel in order to set a positive example.