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Pointers for Parents: Roadmap to Teen Driver Safety

Practicing with your teen driver is the best way to build experience. If you’re not sure where to start, our 52 Pointers for Parents will help. These lessons, which have been reviewed and vetted by a driver education professional, are your roadmap to teen driver safety.

To make it easy, you can sign up for 52 weekly emails and get a new lesson delivered straight to your inbox each week. Or, you can browse all 52 of the Pointers at your own speed. Once you get started, take a look at the tips below to get the most out of practicing with your teen.

Quick Tips for Using These Lessons

When practicing driving with your teen, start with low-risk situations and work up to more risky situations. Begin in daylight, good weather and on remote roads or empty parking lots. Then, you can gradually move to dusk and nighttime driving, inclement weather and busier roads. Start with basic skills (turning, parking and backing up) before moving to more complex skills. And, keep other passengers out of the vehicle when practicing with your teen. Neither of you need the distraction.

Remember:

  • Be calm and patient – If you just had an argument or someone is upset, wait to take the drive. Make sure the atmosphere is right for a good experience.
  • Expect mistakes – The only way your teen can learn is to make mistakes, so accept this, be positive and try to help minimize risk when the mistakes happen. Praise correct driving.
  • Give proper instructions – Explain what your teen should do in advance, in a clear, calm voice.
  • Stay focused – Remember that your teen is still learning, and you are the experienced driver. Scan the roadway for hazards and be ready to react, eliminate distractions, and always encourage this behavior in your teen.
  • Drive the way you want your teen to drive – Remember, teens see their parents as role models. That doesn’t change when they get their license. When you are behind the wheel, don’t do anything you wouldn’t want your teen to do. If they catch you – admit to your mistakes. It shows your new driver that it is never too late to start driving safely.

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