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Helping Teens Learn to Drive


Seatbelts are buckled, mirrors are aligned, and the engine is purring. As your car backs slowly down the driveway you can't help but look into the side mirror to make sure the tires aren't on the lawn. You start down the street, white knuckles firmly clamped around the door handle and feet bearing down on imaginary brakes.

It's your son's first time behind the wheel and you're riding shotgun - who knows which one of you is more nervous?

Learning to drive can be nerve-wracking for teens and parents. It's likely to be your first experience putting your safety and auto investment in your teen's hands. And since you know all the risks of the road, this can be pretty daunting.

But parents play an important role in helping teens practice their driving skills and develop confidence behind the wheel. By taking the practice sessions one skill at a time, setting realistic expectations, and making the experience as comfortable as possible, you can prepare your teen for the road ahead.

Practice Increases the Chances of Perfect
When it comes to driving, experience is an important teacher. The more time young drivers spend honing a variety of skills in different road and weather conditions, the more calm and confident they will feel and the better they'll be able to react to challenging situations.

Before each practice session, plan the specific skills you want to go over. If possible, make your lessons coincide with what your teen is learning in driver's education at school. Consider your teen's temperament - and your own. If the lessons are too long, nerves might get frayed and it may be difficult to stay calm.

An empty parking lot is an ideal place for teens to:

* practice simple skills like turning and braking
* get a feel for how the car handles
* learn the location of some of the basic controls, like windshield wipers, defroster, and lights
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Categories: Teens, Children,

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