Last updated on September 19th, 2023 at 12:23 am
Wondering how you can help your teen become a confident driver? There’s so much to learn, and we all know, it can be a little scary until you’ve got some experience under your belt. Keep reading to see how you can help your child prepare and stay safer on the road.
When your child turns 16, they’ll be eligible to take their driving permit test and get their driver’s license in many states. But public roads can be intimidating, especially for new drivers.
So, before you let your child hit the road to enjoy their newfound freedom, it’s essential that they feel prepared and are confident behind the wheel. That preparation and confidence will help them make good driving decisions and will mean less chance of having an accident.
Here are some tips to help the teen in your family become a confident driver.
4 Tips to Help Your Child Become a Confident Driver
Prepare Them for the Unexpected
You can’t always predict what will happen on the road. That’s why you should prepare your child for unexpected situations, like breakdowns, flat tires, accidents, and other car-related emergencies.
Before your teen begins their driving practice, teach them a few basic things all drivers should know, including how to change a tire, how to jump start a car, and how to check a car’s oil. You may also need to show them where they can quickly find the car’s regsistration and proof of insurance if they’re pulled over by the police or get in a fender bender.
Speaking of accidents, make sure your child understands what to do if they get into an accident with another motorist. For example, you can tell them when it’s necessary to get emergency medical assistance or an injury lawyer, that they need to get the other driver’s contact and insurance information, and show them how to gather evidence, such as photos of the accident.
You may also want to do some research and have the information on hand for a competent and experienced auto accident attorney just in case your teen or another family member should ever need one.
Control Your Emotions and Concentrate on Theirs
Your child will likely make minor mistakes as you ride with them during practice sessions. Sadly, some parents get super nervous, frustrated, and may overreact when their teenage drivers make mistakes–sometimes even giving demeaning feedback, which makes the exercise counterproductive.
The right thing to do when your teen driver make mistakes is to stay calm and positive. Try to think about your first time behind the wheel. Driving doesn’t come naturally to most of us at first. Most importantly, remember your child needs to focus on the road, and criticizing at them every time they make an error is a distraction that can cause an accident.
Take Them for Practice as Much as You Can
When talking about how to help your teen become a confident driver perhaps “practice” should be at the top of the list. Regular driving practice is one of the most effective ways for your teen driver to improve their skills. Take your child for as many practice drives as possible to help them become more confident on the road.
However, as you focus on the basic driving skills, have special sessions to teach your child the other things they’ll need to know. These sessions can include parking, turning, and passing appropriately.
And remember, take things easy during these practice drives. You don’t want to lead a beginner driver right into the middle of a busy highway before they’re ready, as this will increase their risk of causing an accident and shake their confidence.
Encourage Good Behavior
Teenage drivers are more likely to get involved in crashes due to drunk driving, distracted driving, and other risky behaviors. You’ll need to discuss the importance of practicing good behavior while on the road.
Discourage your new driver from engaging in activities that might distract them on the road, like using their phone, fiddling with the stereo system, eating, or talking to other passengers.
You must also warn them about the consequences of driving under the influence and remind them that they can lose their driver’s license–not to mention the risk of injury or death to themselves, their passengers, and others around them.
Even as you encourage good behavior, be a good role model to them. Remember that exhibiting unsafe driving habits means your child is more likely to follow suit.
Do you have older teens? What do you think is the best way to help your teen become a confident driver? Leave us a comment below.