When your teenager starts to learn to drive, you will probably want to help them by taking them out to practice. The more driving they do, the quicker they will pick up all the skills they need, so your practice sessions with them will definitely be valuable. They will also help them pass their test the first time, which will greatly reduce the overall cost of needing to take multiple driving tests.
Worried about accompanying your child behind the wheel? Don’t worry too much! As long as you are a confident and skilled driver yourself, there should be nothing to panic about. You’ll find that your teen quickly picks up driving if you follow these useful tips.
Teach Them The Highway Code
First of all, you need to make sure that they know and understand the highway code. This is super important as it teaches them how to drive safely and respect other road users. If they are unaware of the various rules of the roads, they might end up causing a road traffic accident. If that were to happen, they’d end up needing the services of attorney Henry Dailey to help them get out of a tricky legal situation. So, to prevent that from happening, make sure that you have a couple of sessions going over the highway code with them. They need to know when to give way to other drivers and what the many different road signs mean.
Praise Good Driving
When you are in the car with them, you should try not to tell them off for any bad driving. This can be very off putting and will make them create some negative associations linked to driving. So, instead of scolding them or shouting them, you should instead praise them when they do well. This will encourage them to repeat their good driving. Whenever they make a mistake, ask them questions about it so that they can learn from their error. You will find that plenty of praise and questions will help them develop into a confident and competent driver.
Take Things Slow
We aren’t all natural drivers and some of us take a lot longer to pick up the skill than others. So, you need to be prepared to take things very slow. For instance, in their first couple of lessons with you, you might just want to take them to a quiet car park where they can get used to the car and how to start it. Once they are feeling confident with driving around the car park, you can then take them onto quiet roads. By going slow and building up in this way, you will find that they can build their confidence in their own time and won’t be scared by doing too much too early.
Supplement With Official Lessons
Even if you consider yourself to be a very skilled and able driver, your help alone probably won’t be enough to help your child pass their driving test. They will also need some official lessons from a qualified driving instructor. After all, you might have picked up some bad driving habits over the years and you should be careful not to pass these on to your child. A professional instructor will be able to iron out any bad habits that your teen is picking up and will be able to give them plenty of tips and tricks that can help them pass their practical test.
Be Your Teen’s Eyes
One of the hardest things for any new driver to pick up is the ability to be constantly aware of their surroundings. So, you might find that the first time you go out with your teenager, they are slightly slow to pick up on any potential hazards and risks. For this reason, you will need to be their eyes until they are able to take in their whole surroundings as they drive. Make sure you are always aware of the road and other road users, and try to be quick to warn your teenager of any potential hazards coming their way. Eventually, your teen will be able to be more alert of everything in their surroundings once they start to perfect their driving skills.
Give Plenty Of Warning With Directions
If your child isn’t completely certain of the route that you are taking, you will have to give them directions. As there is a lot to think about when turning a corner – they will need to remember to indicate and check all their mirrors – you need to give them plenty of time with the directions. Give them warnings like “you need to turn left in 100 yards” or “we will take the next left when it comes up”. That way, they know they will soon have to act to change direction.
Take Them Out In Good Weather
In the early stages of learning to drive, new drivers should only go out in fine weather. That way, they don’t have to worry about poor road conditions creating any potentially dangerous and difficult situations for them. So, when you go out with your teen, make sure you are only going in good weather. You should leave driving in poor rain for their professional driving instructor. Their instructor will be much better equipped to teach new drivers how to tackle these conditions than you. Plus, they will know how to stay calm in such situations – you might be a lot more likely to panic when your kid is behind the wheel in torrential rain!
Teach Them Good Car Maintenance
Part of being a good driver is knowing how to correctly look after a car. You will need to teach your child some basic car maintenance for this. At the very minimum, they should be able to carry out checks to ensure that their vehicle is always safe to drive. That way, they will always know when it needs to be taken to a mechanic.
Hopefully, all of these tips will help you teach your teenager to become a good driver!