How to Teach Your Teen to Drive

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There comes a time in every parent’s life when a child turns 16. At the age of 16, most teens want to learn how to drive right away, since this is the age that lets them get that long awaited driver’s license. For them, learning to drive is a great thing. For you, it might seem like a dangerous and scary thing. After all, you’ll be the one teaching your kid to drive in between driver education classes. Where do you begin? Here are some of our best tips.

  • Create a solid plan. Don’t just tell your teen that you are going out driving. Figure out where you will be going before you leave the house, and follow that route. This way, you can plan for things like parallel parking, driving around parking lots, and you’ll know how to get home quickly if that’s what you need to do. Let your teen know what this plan is, so that she can be onboard with your schedule.
  • Try to coach, but don’t throw too many rules and remarks at your teen at once. If you’re constantly yelling at the driver for making mistakes, you’ll just succeed in distracting her. Instead, try and gently coach without losing your temper, and remember to encourage good driving behavior along the way.
  • Try the question and answer approach. Instead of telling your teen what they are doing wrong, ask them a question. Instead of: “You’re going to crash into that pole if you don’t slow down!” Try: “What do you think will happen if you can’t stop in time to avoid that pole?” This method works better, since it doesn’t come off as yelling (something most teens tune out!).
  • Don’t make the drive too long. Learning to drive can be stressful! Start with ten or fifteen minute drives, and work your way up to longer outings.
  • Try and remember what it was like when you learned how to drive. Chances are that the person that taught you how to drive drove you nuts at some point, right? If you keep those things in mind, you can avoid making the same nerve-wracking mistakes.
  • Install a backup camera system. Really. A backup camera will allow your teen to back up without hitting anything, since you can see everything that’s in back of a car with the help of backup cameras. Further, backup cameras will be mandatory on all new vehicles by 2015, so your teen should get used to using this type of camera before that date.
  • Give directions that are easy to understand. Do you tend to talk in odd terms and phrases? Teens respond best to direct commands, so try something like: “Turn right here!” Instead of: “Mosey on down to the curb on the rightside of the lane.” You’ll get a better reaction if you are direction and to the point.
  • Keep in mind that you are your teen’s driving example. So, if you sit way back in your seat with one hand on the wheel and the other on your phone, this is what your teen will use as an example when she starts driving on her own — not a good thing! Pay attention to the road, and set a good example. You’ll have nobody to blame but yourself if your teen gets a ticket for driving the way that you do!

Buying a Rearview Camera for Your Car

If you don’t already have a camera for your car, this is a solid investment that will make driving for both you and your teen easier. Call us today to get a backup camera for your car, and you can have peace of mind knowing that your teen can back up (at least!) without any problems.