Pride and joy are feelings that resonate deeply with parents as their children hit important milestones in their lives. From first steps to getting their driver’s license, parenthood is thrilling and frightening all at the same time. It might seem overwhelming to let go and give our children the freedom they crave as they ditch their permits and move to graduate licenses, but teaching your teen safety on the road gives them the tools to stay out of harm’s way each and every time they pull out of the driveway.
It’s not the easiest thing in the world to teach teenagers a new skill; after all, they seem to have a knack for knowing everything. When it comes to driving, however, there are rules to follow, laws to abide by and a keen sense of awareness required when behind the wheel. Luckily, you aren’t the first parent to teach your teenager to drive and we have come up with key points to remember when practicing and executing your master driving plan.
Become more of a coach and less of a parent
Have you ever had a coach who pushed you to become better, faster and stronger without acting like your mom or dad? Many of us have, and a coaching role is the seat you’ll need to take when riding on the passenger side while your teenager is at the wheel. Encourage your teenager by using positive reinforcement. Ask questions instead of making demands.
Relax and don’t use generalization when correcting a mistake or adjustment. It is easier for your teen to respond to a question versus a demand or criticism.
Take your time and make a game plan
Before you hit the ground running (or driving), come up with a game plan. Figure out where you are going to teach your daughter to parallel park or pick a neighborhood to navigate the streets with your son ahead of time. Even better, make it a familiar place where they will return often to give him or her confidence necessary to become a safe driver.
Another key point is doing your own homework. If it has been a while since you brushed up on your state’s driving laws, take some time to review any updated or new information. Look into liability insurance and comprehensive insurance plans that best for your needs and protect your teen.
Keep your teen aware of their surroundings
Familiarize yourself and your teenager with the vehicle they are driving. Encourage your son or daughter to inspect their mirrors, familiarize him or herself with the electronics, symbols, and alerts available on the car they will be learning to drive. Give a quick demonstration with the windshield wipers, headlights and when to use high beams. All of it is important!
When it comes to eyes on the road, a great way to know whether or not your teen is paying attention to his or her surroundings is to ask what color car is driving directly behind you. Likewise, instructing your teen to make turns well before they appear as opposed to directing him or her to “turn now” is a great way to teach your child to anticipate what comes next.
Be the driver you want your teen to be sharing the road with
If you want to teach your teenager to drive safely, be the driver you wish them to be. Even better, be the driver you want your teenager to share the road with. Before they get their permit, while they are practicing and when it is time to take the wheel on their own, you need to serve as an example for them regarding what is safe, what is helpful and how to be mindful of others on the road.
Brief your teenager on what to do if they are in an accident
No parent wants to plan for an accident, but it is important to prepare your child for what to expect should it occur. Allow your teenager to relay what they believe they should do and guide him or her in the direction of safety and responsibility. As a parent in Arizona, an excellent way to get necessary information regarding important tips is to consult an accident attorney in Mesa and what to do if an accident injury settlement is necessary.
We want you and your family to be safe on the road. SGP law is dedicated to providing parents and children with the care and comfort needed in case of a teen car accident or injury. For more information regarding accident injury settlements in Mesa, contact our office today.