You’ve been driving for years so it shouldn’t be too hard to teach your teenager how to drive…right?
Everything you do in your car is almost instinctive. You rarely need to think about what action you need to take.
This is not for a teenager.Everything is new to them-it is uncomfortable and can be terrifying especially on main roads with heavy traffic.
Being aware of this, and breaking everything down in detail is important in passing down your knowledge and coaching your teenager. Teaching them in way that suits their learning style, and coaching them in a way they will remember, enjoy and practice are critical when they learn to drive.
Professional and experienced driving instructers are able to very quickly understand the capability level of the learner and put in place programs that are easy to follow. Understanding the driving capability level of your teenager first, will also help you do the same.
Instilling good driving habits from the very start is paramount.
It is important to make the lessons enjoyable and informative. The way to do this is to have a plan in place: let them know what you are going to do, demonstrate it and then get them to practice it.
The first thing to remember is that teenagers most often emulate what their parents or mentors do. If you want your teenager to be a safe driver then it is important to set good examples for them to follow. Differentiating good habits from bad are sometimes a task all on its own. Sitting at the back seat while your teenager is being coached by a professional is a good way to recognize this.
Things you may want to watch for your driving are: your tendencies towards speed, your approaches (eg. Dealing in with heavy traffic), the paths that you keep, extended vision, adapting to road conditions and your temperament whilst driving.
What about new road rules?
As your son or daughter will need to learn the road rules, it is also important for you to familiarize yourself with any new or changed legislation since you learned to drive. Are you familiar with the rules for roundabouts, merging traffic, and school zones? These are just few examples.
How should you teach learner driver?
When it comes to actually teaching, you will begin with demonstrating all the vehicle controls, when and how they should be used. Next will be how to pull away, the procedures required in changing gears and steering techniques.
You will probably deal with intersections such as T-Junctions and Crossroads, looking out for things like approach speed, path and observation.
When encountering roundabouts, consider the path you need to follow, the speed, signalling rules and knowing what to do and what not to do, will all help in making the teenager, a safe, competent and confident driver.
Then there are railway crossings, traffic lights, school zones and road works. The teenager will need to understand what to look for in these situations.
Once a certain level of driving competency is attained then it will probably be time to take them on the highways and freeways. Merging lanes, changing lanes and anticipating what other drivers may or may not do are just some of the things that can be taught.
Finally, the manoeuvres that a teenager will need to know include the Three Point Turn, using left and right driveways, left and right Hook Turns, left and right Forward Park, left and right Reverse Park and Reverse Parallel Park.
All of these manoeuvres can be done quite easily if and when the main part of the lessons are clearly understood and practiced.
You are welcome to contact Defensive Driving School with any questions.