School is starting again and that means your teen will have more school functions to attend and driving to do. If you are the parent or caregiver of teens, share these driving tips with them to keep them safe as they go back to school.
Driving Tips for Teens
For many teenagers, getting a driver’s license is something they look forward to doing for years. With a license comes freedom, however, it also comes with lots of responsibility. The number of licensed teens is on the rise. A study done in 2019 showed that more than 60% of teens had gotten their license before the age of 18. So how do we keep our teens safe on the road? Read on to learn more.
What Parents Can Do
If you have a teen, there are things you can do to make sure they’re staying safe — and are prepared — to hit the road. The American Academy of Pediatrics lists the follow tips for parents:
- Give your teens extra practice behind the wheel. While school driver’s-ed programs or other private instruction are great, it’s not nearly enough. As they say, practice makes it better. Let them get practice driving you to the grocery store, to the bank, or to any other errands you might have.
- Introduce different scenarios. Once your teen gets their permit, introduce them to different scenarios on the road once they get the basics down. Take them night driving, on country rounds, highways, in rainy weather, 5 o’clock traffic, and more. The more they’re able to practice in real-life situations with you in the car, the better prepared they’ll be to tackle these situations alone.
- Spend time teaching your child how to perform basic car maintenance. Show your child how to check air pressure in the tires, the water level in the battery, oil and transmission fluid, and the windshield wiper fluid. Additionally, if you’re able, show them how to change a flat tire.
- Only let them drive certain cars. Ideally, teens should be driving midsize or full=size cars that have airbags. Larger cars offer more protection in the event of an accident. Further, smaller sports cars are generally frowned upon for teens as well due to their higher centers of gravity making them less stable and more likely to roll over.
- Be a good example. As their parent or caregiver, you play a big role in how your teen drives on the road. Be careful about speeding, weaving in and out of traffic, no drinking and driving, no texting at the wheel, and no messing with your phone to change a song on the radio. If you set a good example, they’re likely to follow.
Teaching Teens to Drive
In addition to the tips above, the American Academy of Pediatrics list more tips to help teach your teens how to drive without going crazy:
- Know the route you’ll be taking your teen on in advance.
- Give clear, simple instructions, like: “Turn right at the next corner,” Or “Pull over to this curb.”
- If your teen makes a mistake, ask them to pull over and then calmly discuss what went wrong and how they can improve the situation in the future. Don’t be too hard on your teen, and speak with them in a rational, calm, and caring manner.
- Encourage your teen to talk out loud about things they’re observing while driving. “I see a pedestrian on the right,” or “The light just turned yellow.”
- After each driving lesson, ask them how they think they did in this session and let them point out their own mistakes or lapses in judgement. Then, evaluate progress together. Be sure to give praise when appropriate! The lesson shouldn’t only be negative.
Back to School Safe with Scott’s Auto
As your teen heads back to school, make sure you not only feel confident in their driving capabilities, but in the safety of their car, too. If needed, stop by any one of our Scott’s Auto locations for a basic tune up to make sure their car is going to stay running properly on the road.