You and your teen deserve to feel confident when getting behind the wheel. Teaching and creating safe and responsible drivers is our top priority at I DRIVE SAFELY. Since you will be your teen's primary coach throughout their driving practice, we're offering you a few tips to keep things running smoothly.
- Before you hand over the keys, think about where you're going to practice. Empty parking lots are a great place to start. Then, when you and your teen are ready, move to safe side streets that don't have very much traffic (or none at all!).
- Decide together what route will be taken before you head out so there's no confusion.
- You'll also want to decide which skill(s) to focus on before leaving the driveway. This way you won't overwhelm your teen driver and they can gradually build up their confidence.
- Before your teen starts the car, adjust your passenger-side mirror to use as your own rear-view mirror.
- Buckle your seatbelt and take a deep breath. Think to yourself: "I will be calm. I will be patient. I will not panic. I will not raise my voice."
- Once you're on the road, give simple directions well in advance for your teen to process and understand what to do.
- Keep repeating your mantra.
- Ask your teen to tell you what they're experiencing, seeing, planning, etc.
- Watch out for stress signals–both yours and your teen's.
- Be generous with the praise!
- Keep talking to a minimum (unless it's praise).
- If they make a mistake, calmly ask your teen to pull safely to the side of the road and then discuss the error. (We all make mistakes.)
- How did you both do? Start with the positive and be sure to let your teen review your instruction techniques as well!
- Talk your teen through any mistakes they made and give them a chance to ask questions.
- Heap on more praise for the good things.
- Discuss ways you both can improve.
- Smart and safe driving habits start well before your teen gets behind the wheel. It's just as important as all the other big talks you'll have–drugs, alcohol, sex, etc. Start a conversation about what safe driving means, and what skills they'll need to keep in mind.
- Your Parent-Teen Driving Contract is a great way to outline your expectations, rules, and consequences related to driving. Download and the contract and be sure EVERYONE agrees to it.
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.