Confidence is key for new drivers. You can rest easy knowing that graduating safe and responsible drivers is our number one priority at I DRIVE SAFELY. As your teen's biggest supporter through this process, here are a few tips we hope will help keep you both safe and happy while navigating this new terrain!
- Talk about where you're going to practice. The best place for first timers is an empty parking lot. As their skills improve, you can work your way up to safe side streets with little or no traffic.
- Make sure you both know the route you'll take to get there.
- Decide together what skills you'll be focusing on every step of the way. Don't overwhelm your teen driver by trying to cover too much too soon.
- The passenger side mirror will act as your rear-view mirror, so adjust it before your child starts the car.
- Make sure both of you are buckled in, and think to yourself: "I will be calm. I will be patient. I will not panic. I will not raise my voice."
- Always give simple directions far enough in advance so your teen has time to process and understand what they need to do.
- Keep repeating your mantra in your head.
- Remind your teen to verbalize what they're experiencing, seeing, planning, etc.
- Keep an eye out for signs of stress–both yours and your teen's.
- Shower them with praise!
- Don't distract them with excessive talking (unless it's praise).
- If they make a mistake, calmly ask your teen to pull over safely and discuss the error. (Everyone makes mistakes.)
- Take time to review how you both did.
- Focus on the positive – and be sure to let your teen review your techniques, too!
- Talk your teen through any mistakes they made and give them a chance to ask questions.
- Discuss ways you can both improve.
- Make discussing smart and safe driving a top priority. It's as important as all those other big talks you'll have with your teen–drugs, alcohol, and sex. Talk about what safe driving means and what skills they need to keep in mind.
- Download and use your Parent-Teen Driving Contract as a chance to outline your driving expectations, rules, and consequences. Everyone needs to sign it and agree to all the points outlined in the contract.
Teaching Your Teen About Safe Driving
Need some helpful hints and techniques to make the “learning-to-drive process” a whole lot easier – and peaceful?
Parent-Teen Safe Driving Contract
Get on the same page with our easy-to-edit Safe Driving Contract. Set expectations and know what both sides want and don't want starts BEFORE your teenager starts driving.