All parents get a fright when the phone rings while their child is out. You know what we’re talking about: that freeze that chills your spine. Has something happened to them?! Well, it only gets worse once you know they’re out driving a car.
What if there was a way to feel more relaxed about them being out? You can ease the parental nerves by teaching them to be a responsible, defensive driver. To learn more about getting drivers education right for your adolescent, read on.
Drivers education is about more than instruction in basic road rules. It gives new drivers the experience and muscle memory to react to cues. The more practice they get, the better they’ll drive.
The better they drive, the better they’ll react to unexpected events.
Drivers education can be formal lessons with an experienced instructor. Or you can teach them yourself instead. Best of all is to combine the two.
Line up some formal lessons and help them get plenty of practice hours by driving with you between lessons. If your teenager will be eligible for their driver’s license soon, it’s time you got them ready. If you’re not sure how, we’ve got you covered.
Keep reading for our 5 drivers education tips to make sure you do it right.
5 Important Drivers Education Tips
It’s probably been quite some time since you learned to drive. So how do you make sure you’re teaching your adolescent right? Let’s take a look.
1. If They Have Their Own Car Already, Use It
If your teenager has their own car already, use it when you go out for lessons. This means all their learning and muscle memory will be honed for driving in familiar conditions. They’ll also adore you for letting them get out and about in their own car.
Now, while you are letting them use their car, you’re still in charge. They don’t get to put on distracting and loud music or whatever elñse they want. Feel free to draw the line.
It’s important they drive the car according to your instructions. With both hands on the wheel, eyes focused in front. Otherwise, it’s “Lesson over, let’s go home.”
2. Get as Many Supervised Hours in as Possible
Of course, you’re busy. School drop-off and pick-up, work, and food shopping. Somewhere in there, you’re meant to be fit and mentally clear.
But if you don’t carve out enough time for driving lessons, you’ll regret it. Think about it this way: it’s one of the very few opportunities to spend quality time with your teenager that they want as well! So use it.
Why not set up two standard days a week where your teenager drives with you. Put them in your work calendar so no one books meetings over those times. Before you know it, your teenager will be out of the house and off to college, so enjoy this time and this chance to give them some real-life skills.
3. Be Patient and Breathe
It’s stressful teaching your teenager to drive. Things happen so quickly on the road that there will be moments you’re yelling to get their attention quick – or grabbing at the wheel.
Unless it’s an emergency, try to breathe and explain to them slowly and clearly what’s happened and what they need to do. There are a few reasons for this. First of all, for your own sanity.
Second, because they’re learning from you. You want driving to feel like a calm, responsible activity to them. Not some moment of peak stress or aggression.
Model what you want to see from them.
Remember they’ve been sitting in the back seat watching you drive for years. If you’re seeing signs of impatience or drivers aggression in them, these may be driving lessons they’ve absorbed watching you. It’s never too late to change however, so use these lessons as a time to model correct driving behaviors now.
4. Make Sure They Don’t Overcorrect
Staying calm will help you teach your teenager not to over-correct. Many car accidents happen not because of an initial cue, but due to the over-correction of a driver in response.
So if a bird is on the road or another car hasn’t stopped at a red light, teach your young driver to gently ease on the break, or to move the wheel just enough to avoid the obstacle.
5. Choose a Professional Instructor
A lot of our advice here has been about staying calm. It’s much easier to do that if your driving sessions with your teenager are reinforcement and practice rather than instruction. How to make that happen?
Enroll them in formal lessons with a professional. Someone with great reviews, who’s been doing it for years. Many of these schools have dual-driving cars, so they can switch over control should your young driver inadvertently enter into a dangerous situation.
The benefit of using a professional instructor is that they’ll be up-to-date on changes to driving technique. They’ll teach your child current best-practice. For example, you may have been taught to put your arms in the ’10 and 2′ position.
That’s no longer taught. Air-bags now make that pretty dangerous. Your teenager’s driving instructor will teach them to have their hands at the much safer ‘9 and 3‘ position.
And lots more expert driving tips you’ve long forgotten or never known. Plus, while they’re out driving, you can book some me-time for a chemical peel!
If you’re interested in drivers education, get online or start asking friends for recommendations. If you and your teen want to know more about what to expect from lessons, you can learn more here.
Start Your Engines: Let the Drivers Education Begin!
Your job as a parent is to do your utmost to protect your child, to keep them safe. Now that they’re nearing adulthood, one of the best ways you can keep them safe now and into the future is by instilling responsible driving habits. Do that by following our 5 tips to drivers education.
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