How to Teach Your Teenager to Drive Safely

List: Posted: 10/03/11

Teenage drivers make up just 7% of the population of drivers in the United States.  However, they are involved in 14% of fatal crashes.  It is important for parents to take the time to instill a sense of safe driving skills in their teenage children.


Experience is Key


While teaching your child proper driving skills may not be the most enjoyable (or stress-free!) pastime, you will need to set aside a regular schedule for this purpose.  If you find that you don’t have sufficient time, or believe that your teenager would learn better from someone else who has more patience or stronger nerves than you, consider seeking the help of your spouse or other responsible adult.


Make sure that you enroll your child in a driving school where they will be taught the importance of each rule applied to safe driving.  A quality driver education class will provide ongoing instruction for your teenager and, at the end of the course, your child will have to pass a test to ensure that they have absorbed the proper material.


The more time your teen has behind the wheel with a responsible adult, the better driver they will become.  This will give you peace of mind knowing that they have developed good driving skills before heading out on their own.


Set Boundaries


While your child may be very excited about the new-found freedom that comes with a driver’s license, it is important to set up rules about when they are allowed to take the car out.  Until you are certain that your teenager is comfortable behind a wheel in all weather conditions, do not allow them to drive in poor weather such as rain or snow.  Also, make sure that they are back home before dark.


Once they have demonstrated responsible driving, you can begin to slowly loosen the driving boundaries you have set for them.


Model Appropriate Driving Behavior


Your teenager will learn the bulk of their driving skills from the adults around them - that means you!  If you demonstrate poor driving skills or reckless driving behavior, they will follow your example.  If you don’t want them to talk on their cell phone or tailgate while driving, then don’t do this yourself.  Make sure that you follow the speed limit, obey traffic signals, and respect other drivers.  In this way, your teen will be more likely to do the same.


Instill Confidence


It is important to point out mistakes that your teenager makes while driving.  However, do not put your child down in any way or make jokes about their driving skills.  They will take your driving advice seriously and constantly teasing them about past mistakes will only encourage them to tense up and make more.  Telling them they're a bad driver will become a self-fulfilling prophesy, so just don't do it unless you want to be driving them to the store until they're 30.


Instead of only letting them know when they are making a mistake, it is important to also praise them when they demonstrate proper driving behavior.  Confident drivers are often the best drivers.  If you find you habitually grip the seat, look tense, try to take the wheel or frequently apply the invisible 'passenger brake' while they are driving, know that you are eroding their confidence in themselves and making them tense.  Control this behavior for their sake or find someone else to teach them to learn how to drive.

In Summary


Your teen should be aware of all rules and regulations when it comes to driving, and understand why they are imperative to follow for the safety of themselves and others. They should understand defensive driving skills and respect for other drivers on the road. Increase driving privileges when they follow proper driving behavior and take away privileges when they don’t.


Automobile Driving Schools

    Since opening its doors in 1994 AA Driving Academy has had one goal; to "teach you safe, responsible and accountable driving". To date, our driving school is responsible for training, licensing and improving the driving of 60,000 student drivers that have graduated from our academy. We offer several services to facilitate your driving needs. We specialize in teaching collision-free, defensive driving techniques. This combined with a solid grounding of classroom theory gives students the strong foundation they need to develop a thorough understanding of the roads, rules & regulations. We offer behind the wheel training, driver improvement courses, reckless/aggressive courses, driver education and re-examination courses.

    • 1043 Sterling Rd
    • Herdon, VA 20170
    • (703) 478-6800

      Absolute Driving School in Ashburn, Virginia provides professional driving lessons for teens and adults. We also provide driving testing and licensure. We proudly serve the State of Virginia.

      • 44081 Pipeline Plz
      • Ashburn, VA 20147
      • (703) 723-1521
      • 21067 Calhoun Corners Ter
      • Ashburn, VA 20147
      • (703) 726-1510
      • 20771 Duxbury Ter
      • Ashburn, VA 20147
      • (571) 333-8887

      The material in this article is for informational purposes only. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of See Additional Information

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