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Teaching your teen to drive

AA010760Teenage drivers account for more road accidents than any other age group, so learning to drive safely is one of the most important things you can teach your children. Nothing is worse than the thought of having your child involved in an accident, but if the worst does happen, you should contact a specialist like Motor Accident Legal Service to help you with any problems that might arise. To help minimise the possibility of an accident follow these simple steps below.

Start early and practice a lot

Even before your teen gets their learner’s permit, you can start discussing the basics of driving with them when they are in the car with you. Talk them through what you are doing, and why as you drive to get them familiar with the basics. When your teen is ready to get behind the wheel, there is no substitute for experience, so let them drive whenever you get the chance and in all conditions. The more time they have learning with an adult, means the better equipped they will be when they are driving solo.

Teach them awareness

Getting behind the wheel for the first time can be an overwhelming experience for a teenager, so start out in areas where there are less distractions and other traffic, and let them slowly get used to becoming aware of their surroundings. Steadily increase the difficulty of the sections of road they are driving on and make sure they get in the habit of checking their mirrors, doing blind spot checks and anticipating the movements of other drivers.

Stay calm and give clear directions

Learning to drive is stressful enough without your parent barking orders at you, so slow down, take a deep breath and keep a calm manner when directing your teen. Give them plenty of notice of when they should be turning or stopping and point out possible hazards approaching in a calm voice.

Steadily build their skills

Set out clear goals for your driving lessons; start off with the basics and gradually progress to more difficult manoeuvres. One day might be learning to merge onto a highway, another day might be parallel parking or u-turns. As their skills progress try to incorporate as many of the manoeuvres they have learned as possible into each driving session. That way their entire skill set will be reinforced and improved every time they get behind the wheel.

Teaching your teen to drive can be a nerve-racking experience at times, so remember to progress slowly at a level both of you are comfortable with, don’t rush into more complicated lessons until you feel they have a firm grasp of the basics. Don’t forget to lead by example when you are driving as well, it is hard to tell a teen, do as I say, not as I do. Know your limits as well, it could be well worth it to pay for an instructor or even a professional defensive driving course and allow someone with plenty of experience in teaching new drivers to impart their knowledge to your teen.