When the time comes to teach your adolescent to drive, parents should begin by ensuring their child is familiar with and comfortable operating the car and its controls. Additionally, parents may check with their insurance providers to see whether they offer programs to assist teens in learning to drive. For instance, the State Farm Steer Clear program is an excellent resource for adolescent and young adult drivers looking to enhance their driving abilities.
Refresher course on the rules of the road
Driving laws and the manner in which pupils are taught change on a regular basis. If it has been some time since you reviewed the current regulations, it may be beneficial to check your students’ materials prior to teaching them.
Begin with a vehicle tour.
Prior to hitting the road, begin by teaching your adolescent the fundamentals: show how to properly adjust the seat, side, and rearview mirrors to meet their requirements. Other adjustments, such as tilting the steering wheel, may be required.
Review the vehicle’s controls and features. Educate your adolescent on how each of these works:
- Controls on the dashboard
- Adjustment of the mirror
- Indications of turns
- Airbags and seat belts are standard safety equipment.
- Emergency luminaires
- Brake/release for parking
- Engine starting/shutting down
- Gasoline and brakes (especially ABS)
- Dashboard warning lights (such as low fuel, oil, temperature indicator)
- Additionally, demonstrate to your adolescent the whereabouts of the registration, insurance card, and vehicle handbook.
Acquaint yourself with the vehicle
When your adolescent first drives the vehicle, begin at the safest, most convenient place available, such as an empty parking lot. Encourage your adolescent to practice accelerating and braking, as well as turning and backing up.
As your adolescent begins to develop these abilities, take notice and add a layer of complexity to the scenario the following time. For instance, rather than just stopping and starting, instruct your adolescent to pull into and out of a parking space.
It may take many excursions to figure out how to go from A to B and how much brake power to use to halt or how far to twist the steering wheel to turn.
This is also an excellent opportunity to encourage your adolescent driver to be aware of their surroundings:
- Consider the horizon and the sides.
- Examine mirrors.
- Continuously scan for dangers.
Teach your adolescent to maintain a clear “safety distance” surrounding the vehicle to provide for reaction time in the event of an accident. The farther back your adolescent is from the car in front, the clearer his or her view of what’s ahead will be. Increased visibility and range gives more time to respond to changing traffic circumstances.
Begin in low-traffic, low-speed zones.
Once your adolescent is comfortable with basic vehicle operation, move your training to calm streets where your teen may practice remaining on one side of the road, anticipating cars leaving driveways, and pulling up to a stop sign.
For the remainder of the lessons, stay on roads with reduced speed restrictions (under 35 mph). Remind motorists that the stated limit is just a guide to a safe speed under ideal circumstances. Your adolescent should drive significantly slower in inclement weather, heavy traffic, or places with a high pedestrian population.
Checklist of fundamental abilities for beginners
Alternate the routes you take to practice the following:
- Turns: speed and signal usage
- Braking smoothly: gently bringing the vehicle to a halt
- Smooth acceleration: gradually raising speed to a safe limit within the stated limit
- Approaching stop signs or traffic lights-controlled junctions
- Identifying the right of way
- Roadways with a single lane or several lanes (low speeds)
- Changing lanes and carefully merging into traffic
- Maintaining a suitable pace
- Hazard detection and identification
- Maintaining a reasonable following distance
- Collaborating with bikers, walkers, and school buses on the road
- Operating a vehicle in a school zone
- Taking action in response to an incoming emergency vehicle
- Utilization of turning lanes
As your new driver begins to develop these abilities, keep an eye out for the ones in which he or she is competent. Continue to expose your adolescent to various times of day, levels of traffic, and weather conditions on familiar routes as you both grow more comfortable.
At this stage, your adolescent has learned the fundamentals and need extensive practice to get used to the road. Continue practicing driving on low-speed, low-traffic routes over the next few hours. Consider taking a different route each time to ensure your adolescent receives the diversity necessary to develop into a safe driver. Additionally, try collaborating with a driving teacher.
For the first time, driving on a multi-lane highway may be frightening. Begin your teen’s driving experience by taking him or her out at less congested times of the day to practice merging into traffic, remaining in the lane, and driving at faster speeds and safe following distances without the additional stress of rush hour traffic. Once both of you are comfortable doing this, gradually go to more congested traffic conditions.
Before venturing onto the highway, familiarize your new driver with the following:
- Increased speeds need greater stopping distances.
- The importance of checking blind spots before to changing lanes
- Driving in close proximity to big trucks
- Anticipating interchanges via sign reading
- Allowing for a “safety zone” around you in case you need to get off the road to avoid colliding with another vehicle or debris
- Looking for halted or slowed traffic ahead
- Checklist of advanced abilities
The following are the skills that a novice driver must learn when operating in high-speed, high-traffic situations:
- Incorporating traffic
- Recognize highway signs and exits
- Toll booth navigation
- Making a pass and getting overtaken
- Maintaining an appropriate pace
- Being considerate towards others
- Maintaining a reasonable following distance
- Prominent difficulties
Difficult driving conditions are harmful for all drivers, but they are particularly perilous for novice drivers. Once you and your adolescent are confident in his or her ability to manage each driving scenario in daylight and good weather, ensure that your kid has enough chances to practice driving on each kind of road at night, in rain, snow, and fog. Discuss how to make the most use of amenities.
Until both you and your adolescent driver are comfortable driving in “degraded” circumstances, he or she should not drive alone, even if the law allows it.