Preparing Your Teen For the Road
It is very important that you do all you can to prepare your teen for the road. First, you need to learn the laws in your state because they are all different. For example in some locations the age is different than in others. The length of time a teen may need to hold a permit can also be different. There may be logs that have to be completed too verifying the hours your teen is behind the wheel. Limitations about how many other passengers can be with them until they are a certain age may have to be followed as well.
To prepare your teen for the road, they need lots of driving experience. This needs to take place at various times of the day. They need to drive at night too as well as in adverse conditions. They need to feel comfortable driving both in town and on the highway. If you live in a rural location, take the time to take your teen to the closest city. This will help them to become confident driving anywhere as well as in heavy traffic.
Make sure you remain calm as you help your teen prepare to drive. Point out what they are doing right as well as what they need to change. Help them to understand the rules of the road. You want them to be consistent so make sure your directions are clear. You also need to be a good driver yourself as they will be following your example when they are behind the wheel.
A driving course may be a good idea for your teenager to complete. There are usually driving courses for them locally. There are also some classes that they can take online. These will help them to understand not only the rules of the road but how accidents can occur. They have to learn to be aggressive and alert at all times. Even if they are driving correctly, other people may not be paying attention.
Your teen needs to have good habits from the start. This includes always wearing a seat belt, adjusting mirrors, and looking behind them before they drive off. They should never be talking on their cell phone or texting while driving. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t be doing this either!
Make sure your teen knows what to do when emergency vehicles are approaching. They need to safely get to the side of the road so that these vehicles may pass them. Your teenage needs to know how to check the vehicle before they drive off in it too. For example how to check the oil and the tires. Make sure your teenager can change a flat tire on their own too.
If the vehicle is making strange noises, your teen should have a safety plan about how to get assistance. They should have a contact too in case they need help for any reason when they are out driving. Let them know that help is there should they get into a situation so that it can be properly dealt with. They need to have access to the insurance and registration information for any vehicle they operate. They also need to always carry their driver’s permit or driver’s license with them when they operate a vehicle.
Hopefully your teenager will never get into an accident while driving. However, they do need to know what the process is should that happen. They need to know that they should never leave the scene of the accident and that a report needs to be filed with local law enforcement.
Your teen should never get behind the wheel of a vehicle when they have consumed drugs or alcohol. There should be a no tolerance rule in the home concerning this. If they violate the rules they should lose their driving privileges. This should also include driving at excessive speeds which will increase the risk of an accident occurring. Make sure your teen feels comfortable asking you for assistance with driving too. That way any concerns or questions they have can be addressed.