Top 5 tips for teaching your kids to drive
There comes a time in life when parents begin to develop more grey than colour in their hair and renew their commitment to religion. That time occurs when your children pass the learner’s permit test and want the keys to your car, or are jumping behind the wheel of their own set of wheels.
Fortunately, you’ll be in the car with them, teaching them how to properly navigate the roadways.
You can impart your wisdom and help correct their mistakes, but the job is not easy and it’s definitely not stress-free.
In the end, you’ll have had a hand in training your son or daughter the rules of the road and can be confident in their skills before you let them loose on the motoring world.
To make your teaching experience easier, the team at AutoGuru have come up with a few simple ideas to assist you in training your teen driver.
1. Plan your drive before getting in the car
If your teen has a brand new learner’s permit, you don’t want their motoring experience to start by merging into heavy traffic on the highway.
Map out a route for your training drive before you get in the car. Reinforce the skills your new driver possesses, and dot in a few new techniques each time you go for a drive.
2. Keep calm in all conditions
Instructing your teenager on how to drive is a stressful situation no matter which way you slice it.
If you can maintain some semblance of calm, your teen will be better for it. Do some breathing or yoga before a drive, go for a run, take a nap – make sure you are “centered” before getting in the passenger seat.
If you are unnerved, your L-plater will feed off your tension, which is when mistakes happen most often.
3. Be clear in your directions
Give plenty of notice before turns and speak in a calm, even tone.
Try not to use words that can be confused. For example, practice ahead of time NOT saying “right” unless you’re referring to the direction.
Otherwise, signals will get crossed and there will be confusion.
4. Be patient and understanding
New drivers are most likely to get into accidents or make mistakes.
If this should happen on your watch, be understanding of the situation. No one will be more upset than the young driver.
5. Gradually work up their skill set
It takes time for driving to become second nature. Incorporate all the skills necessary for their success behind the wheel over the course of your teenager’s period as a Learner driver.
Practice until you’d be comfortable with them on the road without you in the passenger seat.
If you know you’re not the type of person who can keep calm riding shotgun with your teen, it might be best to leave the driver training to a professional.
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Jason is a Canadian automotive content writer with a background in the auto service industry, but he’s been hooked on cars and mechanics since childhood.
One of his first cars was an ’80 Mazda RX-7 that’s sorely missed to this day. A ’68 Ford Torino GT, a ’66 Ford Country Squire Woodie station wagon, and a ’96 Suzuki GSX-R 750 have spent time in his fleet of cars, bikes, and trucks over the past two decades.
Jason’s pride and joy is under construction – a turbocharged ’88 Mazda RX-7 convertible. Also on his resume is CASCAR official certification.