Four Tips for Teaching Your Teen How to Drive


The day your child gets a learning permit is either one of the best or scariest days in a parent’s life. For one, your teen is growing up and can take on additional responsibilities. At the very least, you won’t have to drive your teen to and from everywhere he or she wants to go. But, the downside is that your teen will be a driver and will be out and about without you. In addition to inevitably worrying about their safety, you will also need to worry about getting a car for him or her and getting insurance too.


When it comes to insurance, it is important to shop around and compare prices through websites like eTags, but this is only the beginning. If you are considering getting them their own care or giving them yours at some point, considering safety features of the car is important since young drivers tend to drive more recklessly. But before all of that, you must make decisions such as enrolling your teen in a driving school (which is absolutely a good idea, by the way) and teaching him or her about the finer points of driving yourself. Here are several points you might want to share as you hit the road together:


Read the Manual: You can’t be a teacher if you don’t know the rules yourself, right? Even if you have driven for years, there could be new updates and things that have remained the same that you just won’t remember. Since you last took a driving test, laws regarding changing lanes, commuting around school buses, and more may have changed drastically. Reading the manual ensures you’re teaching your teen the right things and teaching yourself a few things.


Tell Your Teen to Put His or Her Hands on 9 and 3: Ask any driving teacher – 10 and 2 is not correct. The reference to traditional analog clocks preciously recommended that the steering wheel should be held at just above the mid-point and just below the top of the steering wheel on each side. The reason this is no longer the recommended position(s) is because, in several crash cases, this position of the hands and arms brings right in front of the path of a deploying airbag which has resulted in injuries from people smacking themselves in the face. Holding the steering wheel at 9 and 3 which puts them dead center on the steering wheel on each side provides maximum control This is something your teen will certainly need in the beginning and something to make a habit of throughout his or her driving “career”.


Make Sure There Are No Distractions: Your teen’s eyes should be on the road and the road only. Make sure his or her phone is out of sight, that there is eating while driving, and you might want to even avoid having anyone other than a responsible adult in the car with them. The distraction of passengers, especially a group of teens, is little recognized. Distractions increase the likelihood of a mistake which can ultimately lead to a crash.


Choose a Quiet Place: Your teen’s first trip on the road shouldn’t be on the turnpike or another expressway.  Practice parallel parking and k-turns, also known as 3-point turns, in a (mostly) empty parking lot. Practice basic driving techniques on less trafficked roads, so you can teach the basics without scaring your teen about driving. While most people’s definition of a “less trafficked” road might be a residential street, this may not be the best choice. While there is in fact usually less moving cars on the residential streets, there may be more foot traffic (pedestrians) such as kids playing. You may find a quite commercial street nearby harboring business like factories that do not typical cater to the general public that will suffice.

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