So you've discussed the importance of safety and the responsibility of being a licensed driver. Your teen has studied and earned their learning permit.
It's Time to Start Teaching
At first, the idea of teaching someone to drive seems easy. At this stage in your life driving has become almost a subconscious activity. Therein lies a problem.
We do so many things as drivers without thinking about them, that it becomes difficult to remember all the things you should be teaching. That's not a problem as long as you are aware of your weaknesses.
Driver's Education Classes or DIY
Enrolling in a drivers education program should definitely be a consideration.
With a professional drivers education program, you will generally get a nationally certified driver training program. Your training will include classroom as well as road time. This option will also require an additional cash investment.
How much you invest will depend on the school, what you want to learn and the amount of total road time. Expect to spend from $200 to $1000 for lessons. If your teen's school offers a Drivers Education course, that's usually a very good option for free or a reduced rate.
Even if you intend to teach your teen driver yourself or maybe just budget conscious, enroll your teen in a basic 3-hour course. With most driving schools, this basic course teaches the student the basics of driving like starting and stopping, turning, parking and basic street driving.
This can be a great option if you're nervous about getting in the car with a total novice. If you choose an accredited driving school, upon completion your insurance company will in most cases provide a small discount on your premium.
The discount will be important due to the fact you'll see an increase in your insurance bill once your teen driver gets their regular license.
Drivers Ed Not Enough?
Enrolling in a drivers education program will help, but consistent road-time with continual constructive feedback will be the key to developing safe driving skills for teens.
The National Safety Council (NSC) suggests that even just 30 minutes of supervised driving a week with a parent can greatly improve driving skills. Consistent driving practice with a parent talking through the various driving situations as they happen, helps build and develop those same skills in your teen driver.
The number of fatalities in vehicle crashes decreased dramatically from 2007 to 2010. A great deal of focus went into helping stem the tide of teen crash fatalities. State governments began implementing graduated driver licensing (GDL) laws. In addition, more research went into how to better teach teen drivers safe driving.
So what does that all mean for you? It means more resources exist than ever to help you become a good driving instructor for your teen driver.
The organization has performed extensive research and studies. They've pulled together all the best information about teaching and learning to drive. Not only does it provide guidelines, but they have also developed a complete teen driving learning program, including a written manual, videos, and driving practice log.
The great thing about this program is that it addresses a multiplicity of driving situations and the best way to teach your teen how to negotiate these various challenges.
Remember the old adage about practice. In this case, it won't make your teen a perfect driver, but it will make them a much safer driver.