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Tips for teaching your teens to drive

There comes a time in every parent’s life when they must look death in the face with courage and fortitude…while they cling to their armrests with white knuckled hands as their teenager narrowly misses hitting another car. Alright, so maybe this is a bit of an exaggeration of the situation. But the fact of the matter is that teaching a teen to drive can be a somewhat stressful experience. In order to help you navigate this passage of adulthood, here are some tips that will help you both survive.

Start with a Learner’s Permit

You should not start teaching your teen how to drive until they have their learner’s permit first. To get a learner’s permit in the United States, your child will need to have reached a certain age. What that age is depends on the state you live in – in some states, fourteen year olds can get learner’s permits. The majority of states require your teenager to be over the age of fifteen while a few require the teenager to be over age sixteen. To get a driver’s permit, your child will need to take a written test. At this point, all you can do is help your child study for their test.

Once they’ve passed the test and received a learner’s permit, the fun really starts for them. Teens require a certain amount of hours of actual driving before they can even think about trying to get a license. You can either choose to hire a driving teacher for your child or you can teach them yourself.

Get to Know Your Car

You should acquaint your child with all the buttons and controls in the car they will be driving. Of special note are the windshield wipers, headlights and turn signals. You should also teach your child how to position the mirrors in the car so they can use them properly. Show them how to disengage the parking and emergency brakes. Demonstrate how to adjust the seat and steering wheel.

Get a Feel for Driving 

When you put your child behind the wheel for the first time, the first thing you should do is familiarize them with the difference between the gas pedal and the brake. At first, it’s hard to know how much pressure to apply to the pedal, where to place your foot and how to rapidly switch between pedals. Many first time drivers may even use both of their feet instead of just one since they don’t know any better.

Let them figure all of this out in an empty parking lot where there’s no danger of hitting pedestrians…or straining your nerves.

Allow Them to Practice 

Once your child is comfortable driving in a straight line and at a steady speed, you can take them onto a quiet, deserted road. Here you can practice making left and right turns without the pressures of oncoming traffic. Train them to always look for stop signs at intersections and to look out for other kinds of signs. After this, you can get them started on their first (semi) busy road, that is if you can handle it!

[author]  [author_info]About the Author

Ryan Embly is from the cheap car rental website Ryan likes writing about cars and driving and his favourite type of car is a Mini.


Image Credit: Anita Patterson

This post was written by a guest writer for Prime Parents Club. We are not currently taking new guest writers.


  1. Lewis

    February 25, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    Haha!! That’s pretty amazing Jackie. I imagine the look on his face was priceless.

    • Jacqueline W.

      February 25, 2011 at 7:55 pm

      We recently reconnected on Facebook. I’m surprised he hasn’t brought it up… ;)

  2. 40MomsClub

    February 25, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    Tips for teaching your teens to drive… #teens #driving #tips #40MC

  3. Jacqueline W.

    February 25, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    The deserted road thing is a good tip. When I took driver’s education, I was coming around a country back road and turned a curve wide and almost hit an oncoming driver’s ed car…which my boyfriend was driving.

    It was awesome. :o

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