How to Plan for Your Kid Learning to Drive
Teen parents all understand the feelings that roll over you when your teen gets nearer to driving age. When it’s time to teach your teen child to drive, it’s important to make the right preparations to make sure that the process is safe and stress-free for everyone. We have compiled a list of steps every parent should take when planning for their children to drive.
Know When the Time is Right
Your teen might be ready to drive as soon as he or she meets the age requirement, or they might not be mature enough to handle the responsibility yet. Maybe your teen is technically old enough to drive but might not feel ready yet. If you feel your child is ready to drive, you can approach them with your opinions but don’t push the issue. After that, let your teen take the initiative: an overly anxious teen driver can be incredibly dangerous, so it’s best to let your young driver wait until he or she feels ready.
Begin With a Tour of the Vehicle
Before your teen gets behind the wheel, start by training him or her on the basics. Demonstrate how to adjust the seat, steering wheel, and mirrors safely to fit their needs. Once they feel comfortable, review the controls and features of the car, including:
- Turn Signals
- Dashboard Controls
- Emergency Lights
- Emergency Brake
- Windshield Wipers
- Gas and Brake Pedals
- Indicator Lights on Dashboard
Once your teen feels relatively comfortable with the controls and where they are located on the vehicle, make sure he or she knows where to find the insurance card, registration, and car manual.
The first time your teen actually drives the car, start in an easy and safe location. An empty parking lot is an excellent opportunity. Practice applying gas and brakes, driving in a straight line, making simple turns, and backing up. Remind your teen to be mindful of his or her surroundings, checking mirrors, and continuously scan for hazards. As you see your young driver growing in confidence, introduce more complex maneuvers, such as driving into and out of a parking spot.
It can take several outings to get from point to point and figure out how to confidently maneuver the vehicle. Once your teen is comfortable with basic operation of the car, move your operation to quiet back roads so he or she can practice basic road maneuvers such as pulling up to a stop sign, staying to one side of the road, and anticipating other traffic. For the first several lessons, you’ll want to stick to roads with lower speed limits and only move to more advanced settings when your teen feels comfortable doing so.
Contact Your Insurance Provider
Teens can be incredibly expensive to add to your insurance policy, but there are steps you can take to ensure your child is sufficiently covered while keeping your costs reasonable. Contact your insurance provider to learn more. The best time to begin the process is before your teen has acquired a learner’s permit. Adding a teen driver to an existing family policy (usually to the cheapest car listed on the policy) is almost always cheaper than buying the teen his or her own policy. Find out what the cost will be, what the procedure entails, and any other information. Some insurance companies offer discounts for students that earn good grades, teens that complete a defensive driving course, and people that meet other requirements.
Planning for a new driver can be difficult, but making sure that your teen is properly prepared by buying the right insurance coverage will bring peace of mind to everybody.