It can be a nerve-wracking experience, your teen, who you raised as a baby, is now ready to traverse the roadways, and you aren’t sure if he or she is prepared. While they may be mature enough to handle the responsibility and may have finished driver’s ed, you are just not convinced that it is time for him or her to take to the road. Here are some ways you can be sure if your teenager is ready to drive down the streets of your town.
Equip them with Equipment.
It is second nature to you to know where everything in your car is, but your teen does not have the years of experience driving that you have obtained. The first thing that you should do before taking to the road is to know where all the essential equipment is in your vehicle. Your teen probably knows about the break and gas pedals but may not know how to adjust the side mirrors or use the wash feature with the windshield wipers. Here is a list of all the things your teen should know how to operate the vehicle before taking to the road:
- Windshield Wipers
- The steering wheel and seat adjustments
- Hazzard Lights
- Turn Signals
- Seat Adjustments
- Side Mirrors
- Rear View Mirror
- Parking Break (Emergency Break)
Your teen should also understand what the warning lights mean on the dashboard; a key can usually be found in the owner’s manual or online.
Make Sure Your Teen is Comfortable with the Vehicle
That empty grocery store parking lot down the street you’ve been complaining about is now your ally. It is the perfect place to let your teen drive slowly.
Your teen can get a feel for applying the gas and brakes, and if you have a manual transmission, your son or daughter can learn how to shift gears in the parking lot.
With all those empty parking spaces around, you can teach your teen how to park. Use cones in the adjacent parking spaces to simulate parked cars if you have cones.
An empty parking lot is also perfect for your teen to drive in rain, fog, or snow. The parking lot will provide safety the roads can’t as they learn how to turn into a slide. After practicing in the parking lot a few times, your teen will be ready for the next steps.
Getting Your Teen on The Road
Staring out in low-traffic areas like your neighborhood is a wise idea. Start below the speed limit; your teen may not have the reaction time yet to react when an animal or child runs out in front of them.
After being on the road at a slower speed a few times, gradually increase the rate your teen drives until they are driving at the speed limit. Ensure that there is an understanding of the different traffic signs and what they mean. After your teen has learned the basics, like merging into traffic and being a defensive driver, you can move on to more advanced roadways.
Getting on the on-ramp to the interstate or a highway can be intimidating to a teen, but if you have prepared them, panic won’t set in. Ensure they know how to accelerate until their speed matches the traffic they will be merging with on the interstate or highway. Once your teen has had the first eighteen-wheeler blow past, he or she will feel less anxiety when the next one comes along.
Before you let your teen drive alone, make sure of the following:
- Your teen knows how to change a flat tire.
- Your teen won’t text and drive.
- That your teen won’t be tempted to speed or race against friends.
- Your teen knows to watch the fuel gauge.
- Your teen will perform regular maintenance on the vehicle.
Once you have decided your teen can drive alone, you can take solace in the fact that you have prepared her or him for the challenges of being on the road.
Should you have any questions about Auto Insurance for you and your teen, contact us via email or at (863) 646-LOCK.