Successful drivers maintain control of their cars … and mastery of plenty of other skills, too.
1. The fundamentals: braking
Control begins with the basics—stopping and starting. Drive with teens and observe how they come to a stop. Are they breaking because they’ve scanned and recognized a hazard? Do they brake too hard? Teach teens when to take their foot off the gas and when to apply gradual pressure to the brake (also known as squeezing the brake). And, while the goal is a smooth stop, your teen also needs to know how to stop quickly in the case of an emergency.
2. The fundamentals: accelerating
After drivers come to a complete stop, observe how they get the car moving again. Does the car jerk or jump forward? Let teens know they don’t need to hit the gas right away in an automatic transmission car. Coach them on applying gradual pressure to the gas (just as they do with braking).
3. The fundamentals: turns
How do teens brake and accelerate into and out of turns? Odds are they don’t stop and start smoothly at this stage. Practicing these fundamental skills will give your teen the foundation to improve their overall driving.