A positive driver's education experience starts with giving your teen the best possible chance to become an excellent driver. Our number one priority at I DRIVE SAFELY is for our graduates to understand safe and responsible driving practices, so that they can carry healthy driving attitudes for life. Before you and your teen head down the road for the first time, here are some tips to keeping everyone calm, comfortable, and confident!
- Before you hand over the keys, decide where you're going to start. Empty parking lots offer plenty of open area with minimal distraction. Once you're confident that they're ready to move on, try safe side streets with little to no traffic.
- Discuss which skill(s) you'll be practicing before you get in the car.
- Decide where you're going and how you'll get there before you head out.
- You'll want to use the passenger-side mirror as your rear-view mirror, so adjust it to your needs.
- Buckle your seatbelt and relax. Take a deep breath and think to yourself: "I will be calm. I will be patient. I will not panic. I will not raise my voice."
- Make sure you give your teen ample time to react by giving them simple directions in advance.
- Remember your mantra –stay calm!
- Ask your teen to tell you what they're seeing, feeling, planning, etc.
- If either you or your teen seems stressed, take a break.
- Give your teen driver plenty of praise!
- Try not to distract them with a lot of talking (unless it's praise).
- If your child does make a mistake, simply ask him/her to safely pull to the side of the road, and discuss the error calmly. (Everyone makes mistakes.)
- Talk about how you both did. (Let your teen review your performance as well!)
- Let your teen point out the mistake he/she made and what they'd do differently.
- Express more praise for the good aspects of the day.
- Review what can be improved (in both your performances).
- It's very important to discuss safe driving with your teen long before they get behind the wheel. Make it just as important as any discussion about sex, drugs, or alcohol.
- Download your Parent-Teen Driving Contract and talk it over with your teen now. Review your expectations, rules, restrictions, and consequences, and be sure EVERYONE agrees and signs.
Teaching Your Teen About Save 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.
Behind the Wheel Training Guide
PennDot’s “How to Steer Them to Safe Driving” guide gives you detailed instructions on how to complete the required 50-hours behind the wheel training.