I have spent the last 6 years developing driver education teaching materials specifically targeted to parents. The main reason? The moment parents turn their child’s safety seat around to face front, they become a driver education teacher.
If you’ve been following DriveitHOME for even a short while, you probably know our main mantra: Stay Involved with Your Teen Driver. Among other things, that means riding as a passenger with your teen regularly—at least 30 minutes a week (or an hour, if you can swing it)—to check on their progress. But what about the rest of the time they’re on the road and you’re not there?
Missy Menzes, occupational therapist and founder of Extra Credit! LLC, is dedicated to helping school-aged kids and families dealing with “hidden disabilities” and learning differences. As program director of “Driving Readiness for Teens (DRT)” and member of the Texas Teen Safe Driving Coalition (TTSDC), Missy adds a unique and valuable perspective to parents and guardians of potential drivers.
Being in the passenger seat when your teen makes his first U-Turn may be one of the bravest things you do in your role as coach. All kidding aside, it doesn’t have to be scary; you just need to communicate the proper technique and make sure your teen gets enough practice.
If your teen has never made a U-turn before or is in the very early stages of driving, check out our Digital Driving Coach lesson to learn how to set up a mini-training course in a parking lot and start slowly.
Kathy Bernstein Harris is the Senior Manager for Teen Driving Initiatives at the National Safety Council. Follow Kathy as she shares her experiences teaching her own son to drive, from the perspective of a teen driving expert and a mom.
Everyone knows this week is Teen Driver Safety Week, right?
Let’s hop into a time machine and go back to when you were a teen driver. Take a moment to remember how well you were able to stop and start your car. Do you remember how it lurched forward when you gave it a little too much gas when the light turned green? Do you remember that four-way stop sign coming up a little quicker than you thought it would? How applying the brake quickly made the seat belt (you were wearing one, right?) tighten across your chest as gravity pulled you forward for a few seconds before it tugged you back to your seat?