It's natural for parents to worry about their teens' safety on the road, but driving is such an essential life skill that it's not a good idea to prevent your teenager from learning to drive. Instead, use these tips to keep your teen driver safe.
1. Teach Teens the Basics of Car Maintenance
A well-maintained car is easier to handle safely than one that has worn-out parts. Teach your teen how to test their brakes and lights before they set off on a long journey. Teach them how to check their oil. You should also encourage your teenager to check the vehicle's tyres regularly. Teach them to recognize signs that a tyre needs to be replaced, such as bald spots or a worn tread. Explain the importance of keeping tyres inflated to the correct pressure and show your teen how to add air to an under-inflated tyre. If the tyres do need replacing, take the car to a shop like O'Neills Tyres.
2. Hire a Professional Driving Instructor
Driving instructors can teach new drivers good habits, such as keeping both hands on the wheel and systematically checking mirrors before making a manoeuvre. Driving instructors are also trained to stay calm and in control, no matter how much your teen struggles to handle the car. As a nervous parent, you may find it difficult to provide the calm and clear instruction a new driver needs, so it's worth investing in some professional driving lessons.
3. Provide Time to Practice
Once your teen has mastered the basics of driving with the help of a professional instructor, they need time to practice their new skills. Take your child to a quiet location, such as an empty car park, and let them practice steering, reversing and parking until they can make these manoeuvres with confidence. The next step is to let your son or daughter practice driving on increasingly busy roads, so they can gain experience of driving in traffic. Don't forget to let your teen practice driving with you at night before they take their first after-dark trip on their own.
4. Demonstrate Good Driving Practice
If you don't respect speed limits or pay close attention to the road when driving, you can hardly expect your teen to do those things. Therefore, when your teen is learning to drive, you need to provide a good example of safe and courteous driving by obeying all traffic signals, respecting other drivers' right of way and ignoring distractions such as your mobile phone. The more carefully you drive, the more seriously your child will take road safety.