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As a newly-licensed driver, what your teen needs most is to develop his or her own skills and good habits by practicing with a patient, experienced parent or guardian. Please ride with your teen for at least a half hour each week to monitor progress. We know everyone learns differently. We encourage you to take the ideas we present at DriveitHOME and adapt them to work best for you and your teen. Thank you, and drive safely!
Lesson #1: Looking for driving skills that need work.
Congratulations on having a new teen driver in the household! Your teen probably feels pretty confident about being able to drive and feels he doesn’t need you in the car. But you know teens really need more experience before they are able to handle complicated situations, even though your state has granted them a license.
That is where you and these weekly driving lessons come in. Each week, try to spend at least a half hour practicing driving with your teen. His crash risk drops off dramatically in the first year of driving as he gains experience. And you are the best person to enable him to get that experience in a safer environment.
- To start off, have your teen drive you around on some of the routes he will frequently travel.
- Take some notes on what you see.
- Ask your teen to identify what the most complicated driving tasks for him are. See whether you agree or notice other problem areas.
- To give your teen a good idea of what other risks the routes may hold, you can switch roles – with you behind the wheel. That is a good way for him to see roadway conditions or driving issues he might not have noticed when he was behind the wheel.
- When you get back home, take a few minutes to review what you both experienced.
- See if you have identified particularly risky routes. Are there alternatives?
- You also now have a feeling for your teen’s abilities and what needs work.