The Top Five Ways to Prepare For Your Teenage Driver
You’ve waited 16 years and change for this moment. You drive your teen to the DMV to take their driver’s test for the first (and hopefully last) time. The feelings of excitement you have for your child might be mixed with fear. You want them to have the freedom you have of being able to drive to the places they need to be without waiting for someone.
However, you remember back to when you were a teen. How scary it was for you the first time you bumped into someone else’s car. The first time you hit an animal. The first time you got pulled over. You don’t want your teen to experience these things (or anything worse), but you know they come standard with the responsibility of driving.
You don’t have to worry too hard, though. With enough practice, and with love and devotion, you can help your child take that next step toward adulthood by preparing them to drive safely and competently. Zeck Chevrolet wants to make sure you are ready for the reality of your child driving with these teenage driver tips.
Help Them Study For Their Driver’s Exam
Exams are hard, and it can be harder for students when they don’t have a ton of behind-the-wheel experience. When you have to look at confusing concepts like parallel parking or lane merges on paper without much experience, it is easy to see how students can fail the driving exam.
But you can help them understand everything by going over mock questions with them from the seat of your car. If they have their permit, take them out on the road and go over the questions with them in real-life scenarios after they’ve discussed them with you out of the car. Putting theories to practice helps young drivers learn and will get them that much closer to passing their exam.
Teach Them Road Safety Even Before They Get Behind The Wheel
Being a good driver and role model does wonders. Avoid getting into confrontations or yelling at other drivers when your teen is in the car. This teaches them to remain level-headed and attentive, even in moments of danger. Always wear your seatbelt and use signals whenever necessary. Finally, talk about moments of lousy driving (by yourself or another driver) with your teen. Ask them what they thought the driver did wrong so they can reason it out for themselves. Turn every moment in the car into a practice scenario, that way, when they get behind the wheel, they are better prepared.
Give Them The Right Vehicle To Practice In
Another essential thing to remember for young drivers is that they are not going to be as comfortable in every car as you are. If your daily driver is a Ford F-350 complete with a lift kit, that might be too much for your much smaller, more inexperienced child. Consider practicing in a more practical car, like a four-door sedan or a minivan. If you don’t have another vehicle, this might be the perfect time to consider getting a quality used vehicle. An inexperienced driver should always drive the car they feel most comfortable in while they are learning. If they want to upgrade when they are older and have more experience, that is fine, but it’s best to start small.
Outline Your Driving Rules And Their Obligations As A Driver
If you have a teen, you might be reading this and thinking, “Rules? That’s not going to work on my kid.”
But as a dealership made up of parents, we can guarantee that if you go about setting boundaries the right way, you won’t get too much resistance from your teen. After all, they are about to be handed a huge responsibility, and even if they don’t show it – they’re nervous.
Start by asking them to write out what they think their driving obligations are while you write out a set of rules. At the end of the exercise, compare the two different sheets of paper. Teens are highly intelligent and reasonable if you give them enough trust. Discuss any points they might be missing on their sheet that is on your sheet and ask them why they think those missing points might be necessary.
From this exercise, come up with a set of negotiated rules. Remember, don’t push extremes – too slack on rules is never good, but too harsh can cause classic teen rebellion. Make sure they understand why the rules exist, and you shouldn’t have problems.
Both Of You Should Take Your Time
It’s common for parents to remind their children to take their time driving. Speedy driving is known to be common among teenagers – so much so that the CDC even released a safety sheet for parents and teen drivers reminding them of the risks of driving. Their survey results found that teenagers had an increased likelihood of speeding and of not giving the drivers in front of them space. Both these issues are a disaster waiting to happen. Unfortunately, once you’ve trusted your teenager with the keys to a car, their safe driving habits are in their hands then.
Another risk factor that the CDC pointed out, however, is that an increased risk of driving danger among teens was caused by inexperience. For many teens, this comes from their haste to pass their driver’s test in as little time as possible. But as parents, you, too, can sometimes be eager to let your teens taste the freedom of driving. After all, it means you have to make fewer trips to the store, home football games, and early-morning school drops.
Just remember that there will always be time for your child to get their license – and that it is better for them to be safe and learn the rules of the road over time than it is for them to get their license at the same time as their peers.
Zeck Chevy is proud to support parents and their teen drivers throughout Oklahoma. Our team understands how vital that first car is to teenagers, and we are committed to giving teen drivers the best and safest cars. To browse our selection of vehicles online, click here. If you’re looking for a car for your teen, get them involved in the process and take this as a learning opportunity to discuss what to look for in a quality car.