All posts tagged teen driving

Teen Drama: How to Keep Your Kid Safe behind the Wheel

Your child won’t be young for long. Before you realize it, they will be out the door and on the road, driving a car, and spending time with friends instead of family. There are some easy things you can do as a parent that will help keep your child safe while driving. 

Set Time Limits

Post a limit on the refrigerator door or on a wall for everyone to see about how often the car can be driven and what times it should be home. Most states limit the hours that teenagers can drive anyway, so this shouldn’t be much of a surprise to them. Nine or ten in the evening is a good curfew to have, even on the weekends. 

Passengers in the Car

Until your child has some driving experience, there should not be any passengers in the car, unless it is another adult. Teens should not have siblings or friends for at least the first six months of driving alone. You can monitor this by talking with your child’s friends so that they know not to ask for rides. After the probation period is over, you can evaluate your child’s driving skills to determine if you feel like it’s safe to have other passengers. 

No Phones

Some states now have laws that limit the use of cell phones while driving. Regardless of any laws, make it clear that there is to be no texting while driving, and no talking on the cell phone while driving unless it’s an emergency. If there is an emergency, your child needs to find a parking lot, or safe location that is well lit to make the call so that there is no danger of being distracted. The no phone rule should also apply to hands-free devices. 

Driving Lessons

This is something that is often taught in high school before your teen gets a learner’s permit. Valley driving school suggests you find other driving courses that will give more experience behind the wheel until you are both comfortable on the road. Instructions at Delta driving schools will be given on how to properly make driving maneuvers like three-point turns and parallel parking. Teens will also learn how to use turn signals and how to pass on the highway. 

Driving is a big responsibility for teenagers. They need to feel comfortable behind the wheel, and feel safe and in control. Set limits on the time your child can be in the car, and how many people can be with your child while driving to have a good starting point. 

How to keep it Cool When Teaching Your Teen to Drive

The adolescent years can be a trying and life altering time for parents. One of the biggest changes and life moments comes when it is time to teach your young teen how to drive. This can be a time-exhaustive experience as you will need to have your teen practice how to drive and prepare mentally for their driving test. Here are some steps to keep it cool when teaching your teen to drive.

Show Them How a Car Works

One of the first lessons is to show how a car works. Open up the hood and show them how the engine works and what to check when there is an issue, such as fluid levels. Show them what every button and light on the dashboard panels mean. Show them what turns on the wipers, wiper fluid, turn signals, climate control, and hazard lights. Go through the car manual to tell your teenage what alerts could mean. Show them how to position their seats, position the rear view mirrors. Finally, you can show them what to do in emergencies, such as how to change a tire and what to have packed in the car, like flashlights.

Train Yourself to Speak Calmly

For many parents, their teens learning how to drive may seem like a catastrophe ready to happen. But, like anything in life, the teenager has to learn in order to mature. Before driving, you need to tell yourself that as a parent you are there to provide information and to allow the teenager to learn and experience what driving is like. Having a rough, authoritative tone or yelling in a panic or anxious voice that they are doing something wrong will not help the teenager and could make the experience more stressful for the two of you. Its better to talk calmly to the teenager and to inquire with them why specific driving techniques are necessary. This will help the teenager learn calmly and, as a result, make the learning experience more pleasant than stressful. 

Use Isolated Areas to Drive

The very first experiences of driving can be done at empty parking lots. Try to use non-private property lots as you could be trespassing. But, try to use a lot where there are little to no parked cars. This is the field that works best to learn how to drive. Let your teen be in the driver seat and tell him or her to accelerate and stop. Tell them to only drive 10 to 15 mph in the parking lot and see how fast they can stop when you command them. This hones their senses so they can stop quickly in case of an emergency. Eventually, the empty parking lots will become excellent grounds to learn how to reverse and park. Since these lots are empty, they prove to be excellent, stress-free training grounds. 

It is highly recommended that the first actual driving exercises are done on non-congested back roads. If you send the teen out to major roads, the teen may become very anxious from traffic and frequent stopping. The basics of driving the speed limit, with the road, and mastering different kinds of weather (rain, snow, etc) will work better on back roads than major routes. This will allow you and your teen to stay calm. 

Set Rules

Before the teen is ready to take driver school classes, it’s very important at the very beginning to establish the future rules of driving. This talk should include telling the teenager to follow state laws in terms of driving curfews and passengers in the car for teen drivers as well as your household’s rules. This is important to establish during the teaching days before drivers ed so the teenager knows full well what the rules of the household will be related to driving. Having this talk later will cause deep conflict and possible rebelliousness. But, if you discuss calmly the concerns and rules placed by you to your teenager, they may be more accepting that this will be the reality of driving life after they get their license.

Author Bio: Annette Hazard is a freelance writer and small business owner. She is a mother or one and wrote about health and family when she gets the chance. She suggests telling your kids there will be rules and consequences after you have your license.