Kids grow up so fast. And before you know it, your 14-year-old comes to you asking to teach them how to drive. That’s the conversation my son came to me several months ago, with traditional beggings, like “everyone at school already knows how to drive” and “I want to be cool like other kids.”
And with a teen, there’s no point in denying their desire to learn how to drive, even if you’re not ready to teach them. I too was caught off guard, as I didn’t have any strategies that would help me teach my son everything he needs to know about driving.
Why You Must Do It as a Parent?
As an experienced driver, you know very well how reckless and irresponsible teen driving can be. Statistics are horrible: 70 percent of teens, who died in a car crash, didn’t wear a seat belt, 27 percent of teens who were involved in a car crash, claimed they were drinking at the time of the accident, and 33 percent of the teens reported using their phones while driving.
As a parent, this is your obligation to teach your kid to be responsible on the road. It’s not just the driving technique; you need to make sure that your child not just knows the driving rules, but understands them and the reason why they should be followed.
Teaching your child how to drive may be a bit complicated, but you will figure it out. And I’m ready to share my experience and strategies I used to teach my son crucial driving rules.
During our first driving lesson, I was behind the wheel, with my son sitting next to me. We were going over different situations on the road, discussing who’s right and who’s wrong, and what can happen if a speed limit is exceeded. If we saw a driver talking on the phone, we discussed potential hazards he brings to himself, the pedestrians and other road users.
After my son learned the rules more or less, I tested his knowledge every time I saw a chance. For instance, when there was a car accident report on TV, I had my son listen carefully to it, explain why it happened and recite the driving rule, which had to be followed. I understood that discussing how others drive might be a bit insensitive, but I’d rather have my son learn from the mistakes of others rather than making those mistakes on his own.
Weather Analysis and Speed Limit
It is crucial for your child to understand that driving technique varies, depending on the weather conditions. This was one of the highlights of my son’s learning course. At one point I realized he doesn’t see the point in decreasing his speed when it’s raining, for instance.
Specialists say it’s normal for teens to be quite reckless when it comes to driving. This is especially true about different weather conditions. Teens don’t understand the physics of a car well enough yet to be careful as needed, when the road is slippery or if it’s foggy.
That’s why, every time we got into the car, I had my son describe the current weather conditions and recite the driving rules to remind himself which speed limit he needs to drive under the conditions. When not driving, we listened to the weather reports and did the same thing. Worked like a charm.
Make Your Reasons Clear
If you think that your teen is ready to drive, the most important thing to remember is that your explanations and reasoning should be as clear as possible. You’ll hear a lot of questions you can’t always answer. If you don’t know or don’t remember something, don’t answer with “This is just the way things go,” that’s the wrong approach.
Everything should have a clear explanation, and if you don’t know it, admit it and then research it together with your child. It will make them more conscious and understanding.
Kids often want to learn how to drive just for the sake of being cool. Your task as a parent is to teach them how to be responsible. I’m not a driving instructor by any means, and I realize that these strategies may not be ideal, but they worked perfectly for my son. I hope you’ll drive inspiration from them as well. Wish your kids safe driving!
Kate Khom is a passionate writer who likes sharing her thoughts and experience with the readers. Currently, she works as a real estate agent at https://hu.flatfy.com. She likes everything related to traveling and new countries.
These are GOOD rules because understanding the dangers and potential dangers is key to treating them with respect. I would add:
– Cell phones of the driver and any younger passengers are turned off and put in the trunk before the car moves.
– Rowdy passengers that are distracting the newer driver stop the distractions or are let off at the next corner.
– Teach new drivers to LOOK where you want the car to go most of the time because your unconscious kinesthetic muscle actions will help guide the car in that direction. This is particularly important in slippery conditions.
– If the car has ABS brakes as most do today, parents should learn to demonstrate how to use them and then teach this critical skill to the new driver. This can be safely done without harming the car or the tires on a gravel surface where there is no other traffic. In an emergency situation the driver hits the brake pedal hard and does NOT let up – but continue to steer toward the “escape route”. Don’t steer towards the things you might hit.