How to Help Your Child Become an Even Better Teen Driver
Originally published October 31, 2014.
When you have a teenage driver in your household, you may sometimes feel like the world is about to end. We’ve all seen the movies and television shows – they tell us that if you deny your son or daughter the right to go out and have fun with friends, somehow, they’re going to get their hands on a pair of keys, and the consequences will be disastrous on Arizona’s nighttime highways.
That doesn’t mean, of course, that you should just give in and let your teen driver do whatever he or she wants, whenever he or she wants. Below, we have five easy steps you can put into action in your household that will make it easier for you to sleep at night. And if that’s not enough, we have 10 reasons why you should enroll your young driver in a local driving school!
5 Tips to Help You Become Comfortable with Your Teen Driving
Let your keys go instead of keeping a death grip on them every time your son wants to go out with the car. Give your daughter more trust and responsibility. These five steps will help you begin to grow more comfortable with your child’s new independence:
- Drive with your teen driver regularly. This will make sure that you feel comfortable with your teen’s driving skills. When you ride along with your teen, you’re letting her take control and you’re getting the opportunity to see how she handles driving.
- Give your teen the ability to use the car. This doesn’t mean that when your teen wants to go out on a Friday night that you have to give him the keys to the car. However, you can give your teen driving freedom and time to practice by asking him to do the grocery shopping or run to the pharmacy, or even to go put gas in the car.
- Don’t freak out when your teen makes a mistake. Every driver gets into a fender bender, hits a barrier backing out of a parking space, or receives a speeding ticket at some point. Make sure your teen understands and accepts the consequences, but don’t freak out.
- Be a better driver yourself. If you want your teenage driver to be a better driver, you have to be a better driver. Pull out those driving lesson DVDs. When you drive and have your teen along for the ride, you have the opportunity to set the example you want her to follow.
- Talk to your teenager. Talking to your teenager sometimes seems like an impossible idea. But when you talk to your son or daughter about your expectations, they really do hear you, even if it doesn’t seem like it.
Still not convinced? Then we recommend you go a step further and get “professional help.” As a parent, the most important thing you can do for your child is to research and select an excellent driver training program.
10 Reasons You Should Invest in a Teen Driving School
There are plenty of things you have to worry about as a parent, but whether your teen is ready for the road shouldn’t have to be one of them. Some of the best reasons to invest in teen driving school include the following:
- It meets the requirements for the Graduated Drivers License (GDL) in the state of Arizona, which, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), includes 30 hours of on-road experience.
- Certified instructors can help lay the foundation for excellent driving skills and safety on the road. Teens who forgo classroom training may not be taught important safety skills.
- Your child will receive hands-on instruction, and with extra safety measures. If you’ve driven with your teen at the wheel, you probably wish you had brakes on your side. Most instructor vehicles actually do.
- You won’t be the one teaching your teen the basics of driving. If the thought of teaching your teen to drive gives you nightmares, fear no more. Driver’s education courses give instructors the main role in teaching your teen the basics so their bad habits are recognized and dealt with appropriately.
- Your teen will learn with other teens. It may be very helpful for your teen to sit in the backseat of an instruction vehicle while another student drives.
- Schools are inexpensive for the value they provide. Less stress for you and more instruction for your child is an excellent investment.
- Driver training will ensure your student receives not only 30 hours of driving training, but also appropriate classroom instruction.
- Driving instructors have more patience for students than parents do because they’ve watched hundreds of other students make the same mistakes.
- Driver training programs consider the requirements for getting a driver’s license and can prepare your child in ways that make sense.
- Driving schools know the local areas of Arizona that will prove the most difficult to navigate, and will help your student learn how to do so safely.
For parents with teenagers, the mere thought of teen driving can make your hair stand on end and your stomach queasy. But the reality is that sending your teen to driving school can help them become better drivers… possibly even a better driver than you!
However, that’s the best-case scenario. In our experience, accidents will still happen. If your teen gets injured in a collision caused by another party, consult with a Phoenix car accident lawyer who can provide you with the legal guidance you need to fight for full and fair compensation. Contact Breyer Law Offices, P.C., today. The Husband and Wife Law Team has eight children of their own, and they know exactly what you’re going through. Call (602) 267-1280 to schedule a free consultation today.
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Confidentially reviewed by Attorney Mark Breyer