There are few things more terrifying for parents than their teens starting to drive. It’s an exciting time, but it can also be daunting. If your kids are looking forward to getting behind the wheel, here are some top tips to help them prepare.
Set a good example
The best lesson you can teach kids that are getting ready to start driving is to be a careful driver. Set a good example. Remember that your teen will watch you when you drive. Pay attention to the rules of the road, give other road users time and space and be patient. Talk to your children about safety and the importance of abiding by the rules to lower risks. Try to banish bad habits when your kids are in the car and be mindful that they will absorb information while they observe you. If you are a careful driver, there’s a good chance that your teen will follow in your footsteps.
Find a suitable vehicle
Some vehicles are much more suitable for learner drivers than others. If you have a very expensive car, your vehicle is on its last legs, or you drive a large or heavy car that doesn’t have the latest safety features, for example, you may wish to consider buying or leasing a car for your child to learn. Use articles and informative guides like those from sites like Edmunds to help you find makes and models that are ideal for novices, visit dealerships to get quotes and arrange test drives, and take your time to weigh up the pros and cons of different options. Compact cars and hatchbacks are often the best choice for new drivers as they are less expensive to run, insurance costs tend to be lower and they are easier to handle.
Practice as much as possible
Experience is incredibly valuable for drivers. Outside of classes, try to encourage your teen to practice as much as possible so that they can develop their skills and awareness. Spending time behind the wheel can build confidence and help new drivers to get used to the vehicle controls, the roads and being around other drivers and pedestrians.
Offer encouragement and reassurance
Some kids can’t wait to get started and schedule their first driving lesson, but for many, it can be a scary experience. If your teen lacks confidence, or they are a nervous driver, try to offer reassurance and don’t apply too much pressure. It can take time to increase confidence and reduce anxiety. Offer advice and encouragement, help your child to gain experience and confidence through driving regularly, and focus on the positives. Congratulate them when they do well and gently point out errors or mistakes and suggest improvements. Try to avoid making comparisons between your own driving accomplishments or those of older kids.
The prospect of teens going out on the roads can be a daunting one for parents. If your child is gearing up to start driving, hopefully, these tips will help you to cope and your teen to enjoy the experience.