Advice On Teaching Your Child To Drive Safely

When it comes to a young driver taking to the road for the first time it is exhilarating for the young driver and brings fear to the heart of any parent. Teens think of the independence that driving will give them, the times they will have in the future with friends and on dates, and that this will be a stepping stone into adulthood. Parents think only of how to make sure their teen is kept safe while they are on the road and how they are going to afford the extra expense it takes to put a young driver on the road.

Before a teen can take to the road however they must learn to drive. That means someone is going to have to instruct them as to how to drive safely and this may or may not be a parent. If a parent is up for it then by all means they should undertake the instruction of their child. It provides a great opportunity to assure the child understands safety rules and regulations. It also allows a parent the opportunity to set rules early on during training rather than trying to do so once the teen is driving on their own. Below are some tips that will help a parent teach their child to drive safely and responsibly which will provide the parent with the confidence that their young driver is indeed ready for the road.

Parental rules are important to set in motion during the beginning of training. Setting boundaries as to when the teen can drive the family car or their own, who will pay for insurance, fuel, and maintenance, and how many friends can be in their car at one time is best set in the beginning. It is also important to discuss and set rules concerning mobile phone and music player usage while driving. Make sure to discuss what consequences will occur if any of the rules are broken and be prepared to stand behind your decisions should any of the rules be violated.

Verbally reward safe driving skills and as you see your child mature in their skills behind the wheel. Express to them that they are doing much better in certain areas when they improve. By giving them positive feedback you are installing in them the desire to continue to do well and this adds confidence in their abilities behind the wheel to make safe decisions.

Be patient. You want your child to be comfortable in saying what fears they have and asking questions of any type that pertain to their training or abilities. You are the most influential trainer for your child and even if they receive instruction from somewhere or someone else, what you teach will have the most impact. So provide an environment that will enable them to feel comfortable speaking openly and truthfully.

Not all children learn at the same speed so let your child guide the process. If they are very enthusiastic and can’t wait to learn each time then it shows they are ready to proceed. If they don’t push to have the instruction then they may be apprehensive and not ready. Discuss the training process with them and allow them to go at their own pace and feel comfortable telling you how they feel about the process thus far. Just let them know you are available when they are ready. This is a very important step and one that should be carefully thought out by a parent. Proceeding too early can lead to driving before the teen is ready and a possible accident.

Openly discuss the maintenance and financial responsibilities that go with owning a car. Such expenses include fuel costs, maintenance fluids, tire rotation, and car insurance. Discuss how car insurance works and what your policy covers. Instruct them on what to do in the case of an accident as well as to what paperwork is required to be available when driving a car.

Discuss mistakes or errors in a way that does not deplete the confidence your child has in their own driving abilities. Point out that you are concerned they need more work in this or that area and that you will make an effort to give them more opportunities to fine tune those problem areas rather than having a critical tone. Keep a positive tone when making a correction. Instead of saying “Check your speed or you are going to get a speeding ticket if you drive this fast” ask your child “What is the speed limit?” to make them aware of their speed. Once they correct their speed, reward their observation and pay attention to how well they maintain their skill throughout the driving instruction this time as well as in the future.

Set good examples when you drive. Children will mimic the behaviors of their parents even those that involve driving. Go through a safety checklist with your child and show them what a safe driver does behind the wheel. Even when you don’t think they are watching keep up your safe driving habits for they see more than you realize. Especially watch your behaviors when it comes to road rage and courtesy issues while driving. Always preview the upcoming driving lesson and let them know what to expect. Tell them what you will be training, what they will be learning and where they will be driving. Take them the same route with you driving it first and then allow them to ask questions while you drive and before they drive the route. Point out speed limits, special turns and lane changes, and any other particular safety issue that they may encounter.

Set times for instruction in the car and stick to the schedule. It will allow your child to prepare and see that you are approaching the training process very seriously just as it would be in a more professional setting. Only by putting forth a serious outlook to the instruction can you convey the seriousness of the responsibility that comes with driving.

Make sure to ask your child after every training session how they feel about their progress so far. Ask where they think their strengths and weaknesses are at this point in their driving skills and where they think they need more experience. This will give you a good indication of their confidence in their abilities and whether they are truly aware of their own skill level while driving.

Make sure during your training that you allow your child to experience driving on different types of roads and in different driving conditions such as driving in rain or at night. It is important to enjoy this defining moment in your child’s life. Patience and understanding will allow them to openly discuss with you their concerns and share with you their