When your child hits the age of 16, driving a car becomes a social requirement. Then again, it’s still your task as a parent to make sure your teen driver is prepared for such a responsibility. No doubt, owning a car is nothing like getting a new dog. There is a lot to consider when it comes to nurturing your child to be road ready. It will take some time, but with constant practice, you can guide your teenager to becoming a more mature motorist.
For sure, you will need to be right beside your teen driver if you’re teaching them about basic driving techniques. You will have to look for an open space such as an empty parking lot where your teen can practice without the risk of causing property damage. At least, with enough space, you can show your child basic maneuvers, etiquette, and the skills needed to become a responsible driver.
Tips for Your Teen Driver
Learn About Vehicles in General
To master driving the car, one must know a lot about how the car works. Then again, you don’t have to go in detail when it comes to explaining what a flywheel does and why torque is important. General topics will do, so you might as well get your teen driver up to speed on the parts and features that make a vehicle perform. You might also want to touch on other essential features such as the dashboard controls and indicator lights.
Get a Feel Behind the Wheel
The next step to learning how to drive is to get your teen to sit in the driver’s seat. At this point, you might want to teach them about the most comfortable position for the arms and legs. You may also need to talk about proper posturing for the back.
Learn About Changing Gears
You won’t have a problem teaching your teen to drive an automatic, which is why it’s more preferable for beginners. On the other hand, teaching how to drive a manual car can be as much of a challenge for you as it is for your teen driver, but the advantage of this is the adaptability it entails. If you know how to drive a stick shift, you would know how to operate any type of vehicle. So, you may want to demonstrate how to start a manual and basic techniques such as changing gears. Before all that, however, you might want to start with teaching about clutch control.
Talk About Safety Maneuvers
When it comes to teaching your teen driving safety, you may need to talk about the concept of defensive driving. This consists of ideal distancing using the 3 to 4-second rule, following the speed limit, staying in one lane, and being aware of your surroundings. For this, you might want to go out for a quick drive around the neighborhood in which your teen driver can see these principles applied in real-world driving.
Demonstrate Basic Emergency Tips
Other than having the right skills on the road, your teen also has to learn how to fix common issues and problems, from changing a flat tire to driving with a broken brake pedal. Anything can happen to the vehicle, so it’s important to equip your teen with tips to deal with such problems alone, especially during an out-of-town trip. Other than these techniques and quick fixes, you may also want to teach your teen how to deal with on-road accidents, whether it involves bumping into another vehicle in the dark, hitting an animal, or getting rear-ended.
Touch on Basic Auto Servicing
If you’re planning to purchase a car for your teen, you will need to discuss proper maintenance. Any vehicle can deteriorate over time and, with a little care, performance-related issues may come up requiring expensive repairs. In this sense, you will have to give your teen a maintenance checklist. This should include checking the oil level and tire pressure. Your teen should also learn how to pour radiator coolant and replace spark plugs once the car has covered at least 300,000 miles.
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Deal with the Paperwork
Now that you have touched on all the fun parts about owning and driving a car, you can now talk about the more boring stuff like securing the documents you need. If anything, this is also essential if your teen wants to buy a new car in the future or gets flagged down by a state trooper who will request their license and registration. Your teen will be road ready after you have covered this part!
Making your teen road ready before taking a driver’s test is always important. After all, aside from acquiring the right skills, your teen also has to develop the right amount of discipline to be a responsible driver.
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