Give your teen driver the best possible tools to become safe, responsible, and mature on the roads. Fostering healthy, positive driving attitudes is our number one priority at I DRIVE SAFELY, and we want to give you the tools you need to help your child develop their own. Here are a few tips to help everyone stay safe and happy as you hit the road.
- Choose a safe and distraction-free location for your practice session. Empty parking lots are a great place to build confidence. When they're ready, move on to side streets that you determine safe, with little or no traffic.
- Decide which skill(s) you'll be practicing before you leave the house.
- Make sure you both know exactly where you're going and how you'll get there.
- Adjust the passenger-side mirror to act as your rear-view mirror.
- Get buckled in 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."
- Keep instructions simple and straightforward, giving them far enough in advance to allow your teen ample time to process and react.
- Remember your mantra.
- Ask your teen to verbalize what they're experiencing, seeing, planning, etc.
- Watch out for tell-tale signs of stress–both yours and your teen's.
- Give lots of praise!
- Try to keep talking to a minimum (unless it's praise).
- If a mistake is made, calmly ask your teen to pull to the side of the road safely, so that you both may discuss the error before moving on. (Everyone makes mistakes from time to time!)
- Discuss how you both did. (Be open to your teen's review of your instruction as well.)
- Give your teen the first shot at pointing out the mistake he/she made. Help them come up with solutions.
- Be generous with more praise for the good things they did.
- Review what can be improved (in both your performances).
- Talking about what it means to be a safe and responsible driver should happen long before getting behind the wheel. Make safe driving as important as any discussion about sex, drugs, or alcohol.
- Download your Parent-Teen Driving Contract and review it now. Outline what your expectations, rules, restrictions and consequences are and be sure EVERYONE agrees and signs.
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.