According to Global Market Insights, the car repair market will be a $280 billion business by 2024. You don’t want your teen making car repair companies any richer. Here are five tips to help your teen learn to drive safely.
Check the Condition of the Car
Each car in America averages about 13,500 miles a year. Those first few miles with your student teen driver will be all-important. However, if your car is in bad shape, then do not use it for your teen’s first driving lessons. Your teen will have to learn a whole new set of skills and cannot do that if the car always stalls going left or has other similar quirks.
It’s good to check your car’s health along with your teen. That way, they can get to know the parts of a car and how to do basic maintenance like checking the oil or the wear on the tires. Also, get the teen used to sitting in the driver’s side, even if the key is out of the ignition. They can learn how to best position the seat and the mirrors and how to reach for dashboard buttons when not looking at the dashboard.
Give First Lessons in an Empty Parking Lot
Every day, there are about 5.9 million cars on the road, notes the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. All of those cars need to be out of the way when your teen first gets behind the wheel. It’s best to find an empty parking lot to minimize any chance of collisions with another vehicle and minimize your nerves.
Finding an empty parking lot may not be easy. Ideally, you want it to still be daylight for the first lessons, but this might not be possible. Banks and government offices are often closed on holidays and so may have empty parking lots. Many malls and department stores open late in the morning, so getting up with the birds may help get in those all-important first safety lessons.
Admit Your Limitations
Not everyone is a patient teacher when it comes to teaching their kids how to drive. After all, kids are precious and cars are some of the most expensive things you might ever buy. You don’t want your kid or your car getting hurt. If the first lessons in the parking lot end up with a shouting match, chances are you are not cut out to be a driving instructor.
It also does not help your child if you panic every time they turn on the ignition. Student drivers of all ages need a calm and confident instructor to stay calm and confident in themselves. Ask your family and friends to take over instructor duties. Talk to driving schools in your area to see if they would be a good fit for your teen driver.
Try to End on a Good Note
Driving lessons can be incredibly frustrating. Teens have spent their whole lives watching other drivers smoothly perform tasks like parking or making three-point turns. Now, they find these tasks nearly impossible. Reminding them that it takes practice to get things right may not help the teen feel better.
This is why it’s so important to end on a good note. At the end of every lesson, ask the teen to do something you know the teen is good at. It could be driving a large circle, or making a serpentine in an empty parking lot. It could be turning the windshield wipers on and off while driving. It could even be turning the engine off. The important thing is that the task is something the teen can do well. Praise the teen for doing that task well.
The Least You Need to Know
There are many things you can do to make your teen’s first driving lessons safe ones. Make sure the car is safe for a beginner to drive. Find an empty parking lot. Always end a lesson on a good note. If this winds up being too much, find a friendly professional service to teach your teen to drive.