Teaching your teen to drive
Posted by: Cal on 13/11/2013
Teaching your child to drive can be a stressful experience for everyone concerned. There are many factors to consider before you take the plunge, so ensure you have the following covered.
Whether your learner is driving your own car or one bought for them, it's important to make sure it's in top condition. A new driver can already be a hazard on the roads, so you don't want to increase the risk with a shoddy car!
Along with the car's engine, oil, water and brakes, make sure its tyre performance is as strong as it should be. This will give you peace of mind as you teach your child the ropes.
Consider hiring a professional
Getting professional lessons, even just one or two, can make all the difference for a learner. You might want to get your child to begin with a professional to learn the basics and ensure they get the best start possible. He or she can then move on to lessons with you, and you both are likely to feel more confident with your teen behind the wheel.
Another great option is to book your child in for a lesson before they sit their driving test. This will allow the supervisor to polish your child's skills, and also ensure that he or she has the right driving habits and skills to meet the assessment standard.
If you are your child's main instructor, it's up to you to plan your lessons and how you want the sessions to go. A good first step is to discuss the frequency and length of your lessons so that your teen knows how often to expect to drive.
Map out milestones and when you both think they should be reached. For example, after ten lessons you might want your teen to be confident driving short distances in traffic, and after 15 lessons you might want them to be able to park.
Route planning is also a good idea. Choose different locations for different stages of the driver's development. Start them off somewhere relatively isolated and free from traffic and other obstacles, before moving on to busier streets and hilly areas. Eventually, try and get your teen driving in peak hour traffic and on motorways - however, don't try this until you are both confident!
Teaching a new driver will likely test your nerves and your patience. Remember everyone has to start somewhere, and the calmer you are, the less stressed your teen is likely to be.