Rule #1 for parents – Set a good example!

While your teen is driving:

  • Give simple and clear directions, such as “brake,” “slow,” and “cover” (lightly cover the brake with your foot, in preparation to stop).
  • Use a calm tone of voice.
  • Watch your teen’s arms – if they are not relaxed, the situation may be too hard for your teen to handle, or he or she may be experiencing levels of anxiety or fatigue.

If your teen does something incorrectly:

  • Ask him or her to safely move the car off the road and then discuss the mistake calmly.
  • Plan routes that allow your teen to practice different skills. Driving to and from the same grocery store every week will not adequately prepare your teen to be a skilled, licensed driver.
  • Take your teen out for driving practice under as many different conditions as possible. Safe drivers are experienced in responding to changing weather, visibility, traffic volume and speed.
  • Encourage your teen to talk aloud about what he or she sees and plans to do while driving. This makes it much easier for you to know if your teen is observing and thinking ahead like a good driver.

After the practice session:

  • Evaluate the session together. Give your teen a chance to point out his or her mistakes before you do.
  • Praise your teen for what he or she did correctly and also mention how your teen can improve.

Tips for Parents:

Set a good example when you drive.

Your teen is much more likely to be a calm and courteous driver, use a safety belt, and obey the speed limit, if you do it first.

Provide a safe motor vehicle for practice sessions.

If your car needs a tune-up, take your teen along for a lesson in car maintenance. Now is the time to talk about the costs of maintaining and insuring a car, and if your teen needs to contribute.

Work with your teen’s Driver Education Instructor.

Ask for a copy of the Driver Education curriculum. Find out how your teen is performing in class and which skills he or she needs to work on.

Take your teen to get a license only when YOU feel the time is right.

You must take responsibility for making this decision – – your teen’s life depends on it.

Share your insurance costs.

Research shows that teens who pay for a portion of the maintenance and insurance of the family car as they learn how to drive are more likely to be safe drivers.

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