Good driving habits begin at an early age, when you first learn to drive. The habits you develop as a teen are the ones you will carry with you throughout your life, so it’s important that you make sure they are good habits.
If your teen is just starting to learn how to drive, you can be instrumental in helping him or her to learn good driving habits. The following are some tips for teaching your teen good driving habits:
Don’t rely on just driver’s ed.
Many states require that teens take a driver’s education course before they can get their permit or license. However, don’t rely exclusively on this course for teaching your teen to drive. These are classroom settings and while they are effective, they don’t offer as much one on one time as you can provide. Take your teen out with you and let them practice driving and familiarizing themselves with the car and its controls before they start taking driver’s education. When they start taking the class, go out driving with them and offer constructive criticism and help them with any questions they may have.
Be a good example.
It is important for you to be a good example when it comes to teaching your child good driving habits. You can’t expect your teen to adopt good habits when you yourself are speeding up when the light turns yellow, driving aggressively, or rolling through stop signs when there’s no one around. Setting a good example by obeying speed limits and other traffic rules will help teach your teen good, safe driving habits.
Insist your teen wear his or her seatbelt.
Wearing a seatbelt at all times significantly reduces the chances for injuries and even death in the event of a car accident. You should insist that your teen and all his passengers wear seatbelts at all times when driving. In most states, this is a law, and failing to wear a seatbelt can result in tickets and fines.
Stress the importance of obeying speed limits.
Driving too fast (or too slow) puts drivers as well as others on the road at risk for accidents as well as tickets that can drive up insurance rates and stay on their record for over a year. Cars are dangerous, and it’s easy to lose control when you are traveling at high speeds. Teach your teen to watch out for and obey speed limits. In addition, if they are going the speed limit and are being tailgated, let them know it’s ok to pull over or change lanes to let the other person pass.
You can help teach your teen good driving habits by practicing with them as they learn to drive. Go to an empty parking lot or back roads to start and teach them good driving habits, such as monitoring speed and being aware of other drivers. Make sure you remain calm, no matter how nerve-wracking it may be, and offer constructive criticism that will help your teen to become a better driver. Remember that your teen is probably nervous to learn to drive too, so it is important to create a calm atmosphere while at the same time emphasizing that driving is a privilege.
Learning how to drive is an exciting time for both parents and teens. By being involved and being a good example, you can teach your teen good driving habits.