The idea of a child driving a car brings up many heart stopping scenarios. However, this child is a teenager and is now of age to drive. Parents should be ready to facilitate a smooth transition from passenger to driver. The road has become a place of aggression and distraction, and the parents of a teen driver are their first defense from harm. Clear communication ad realistic goals will help any parent and teenager smoothly through the drivers’ education process.
Parents Are Teachers Too
Every state in America has a drivers education program that a teenager must suffer through before driving on the open road. Leaving all the education up to these individuals will not result in a completely informed driver. As a parent, teaching tried and true driving techniques is one of the best ways to protect a child on the road.
Stepping into the car with your child at the wheel is intimidating; know the laws associated with this stage in life. Each state has different laws on cell phones, teenagers driving others, etc. A teenager who does not know all these laws could break them with the best intentions. Parental rules should reinforce state and national laws.
Technology and driving has become an increasingly troubling problem. Smarter cars, phones and musical devices have all become a distraction on the road. It is extremely important to teach teenagers that driving is not a multi-tasking activity. Phones should stay put away or in hands free mode. Ipods or other musical devices should be set to a play list and left alone while driving. Texting and driving absolutely don’t mix. Emulate these actions long before a teenager begins driving.
Communication Before Keys
A parent-teen relationship based on open communication will translate into a mature passenger-driver relationship. If a parent is not sure their child can responsibly handle a car, then postponing drivers ed or restricting their car privileges are not bad ideas. Teenagers have never been known for complete and silent obedience. Explaining the reasons for strict rules to a teenager will help them understand. Be clear that certain infractions will incur specific consequences. Those consequences should be enforced; if a teenager thinks they can get away with something, they will try. Shutting down this kind of behavior before they get into an accident or pulled over by a cop will keep them out of trouble.
Over all, teenagers driving is a scary adventure. Parents will have to learn to be comfortable in the passenger seat to encourage their children. Teaching safe driver techniques, educating early and enforcing the law are all ways to insure your child’s safety on the road. Lastly, teenagers need to understand that it takes time to learn how to drive. People out on the roads get bored with driving and distracted. Teenagers must be alert to the fact this fact so that they can learn to be proactive drivers and possibly save lives.
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