When your kid starts driving, you want to make sure they’re safe on the road. Apart from constantly reminding them to wear a seat belt and embarrassing them by saying “I love you” every time they hit the road, what can you do to keep them safe? Passing on smart driving habits will help set your child up for success once they get their license and start driving on their own. Not sure how to jump into your role as an amateur driving instructor? Start with these tips for teaching your teen to be an expert driver.
Start Early and Lead by Example
Kids pick up on driving habits long before they get behind the wheel. Where are they learning these behaviors? From you, of course. If you spend your time in the driver’s seat speeding, yelling at other drivers, or cutting people off, then your kids will think that’s acceptable behavior when their turn comes.
Teaching good driving habits starts early, so be a good example with your own driving. Practice defensive driving, obey traffic laws, and avoid road rage. You can even start teaching younger kids by pointing out bad driving habits you see from other drivers or explaining who has the right of way in an intersection as you drive.
Pass on Smart Driving Habits
Teaching your teen to be an expert driver requires more than just showing them how to get to their destination. You want to also teach them how to be safe and responsible every time they drive. Prepare your kid for anything they might face on the road by passing on as many tips and driving habits as you can. Talk about safety tips for driving in bad weather and why you should stay alert when driving around large vehicles. For example, warn your kid against braking harshly and other mistakes that can damage the brakes. Other tips and advice to pass on might include:
How to drive safely in bad weather
Staying alert when driving around semitrucks or trailers
What to do if you break down on the side of the road
Many driving lessons can only come from experience, but the more you teach your child now, the better off they’ll be once they’re on their own.
Practice Often With Multiple Teachers
Practice makes perfect, right? The more experience your teen has behind the wheel, the more comfortable they’ll be when they get that shiny new license. It’s important to hit the road with your kid as often as you can, but you don’t have to be their only teacher. Your spouse, aunts and uncles, and even older siblings can be great influences as your kid learns their way around the driver’s seat. Plus, learning from multiple teachers gives your teen a chance to experience a broader range of habits, lessons, and advice.