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Parent’s Guide: Top Things to Teach Your Teen When They’re Learning to Drive

For teenagers, learning to drive is an exciting adventure. Many teens look forward to the day when they are free to go wherever they please.

Driving offers a sense of autonomy that most teens have not had before they start sitting behind the wheel. As a parent, you might be looking forward to letting your teenager handle their own transportation, too. 

However, the day that your teen sets off on their own can also be a bit daunting. Understandably, most parents are concerned about their teen’s safety while driving.

It can be challenging to ensure that you have given them all the information that they need to stay safe. Here, we will discuss several important things to teach your teenager when they are learning to drive. 

Before Anything Else, Buckle Up 

The most essential thing to teach your teen when they are learning to drive is the importance of seatbelt use. It is crucial that your teen driver develops the habit of putting on their seatbelt before they do anything else.

Every time a teen sits in a vehicle, it should be an automatic response. Seatbelts are the most effective defense against injuries and death from car accidents. 

Help your teen driver to understand the importance of seatbelts when they are driving — or riding in — a motor vehicle.

Never Text or Call While Driving

This one is crucial. The rise of smartphones has resulted in increased screen time for many people. Vehicle passengers use smartphones and tablets often. But it is crucial to teach your teen that texting or calling while driving is incredibly dangerous. 

Your teen may be under the impression that they can handle multiple tasks at once. That is a dangerous misconception. 

Car accidents can happen in the blink of an eye. Because of this, checking your phone for a text or call can result in life-changing accidents. 

Before they sit behind the wheel, make sure that your teen driver understands that they should put their phone away while they are operating a vehicle.  

Follow the Speed Limit 

Some teenagers think about driving automobiles primarily in terms of enjoyment. While it can be fun to drive, their bodily safety should take priority. 

There is no good reason to drive faster than the speed limit. Driving too fast puts everyone in the vehicle in danger.

Speeding can also lead to injuries and death for others. Be sure that your teen fully understands the potential negative outcomes that can occur from speeding.

Additionally, speeding is illegal. Following the speed limit means that your teen driver will not have to worry about an expensive ticket or a frightening encounter with a police officer. 

Do Not Drive with Passengers Until You Are Comfortable Driving

Almost every teen looks forward to having their driver’s license. One of the most common reasons is that they want to drive their friends around. 

It can be incredibly fun to take a trip with friends. But it is vital that teen drivers understand the ways that passengers can cause distractions. 

Even if your teen is careful and responsible, their friends may not be. Passengers may try to talk at inopportune times, play music at a distracting volume, or engage in other kinds of dangerous behavior.

Because of this, your teen driver should practice driving alone before traveling with passengers. This is especially true when it comes to teen passengers. 

Driving alone will help your teen to build good safety habits before they deal with the potential distraction of passengers.

Do Not Use Cruise Control in Rain 

Many modern passenger vehicles are equipped with a cruise control feature. This is an excellent option, especially for traveling on a long stretch of the interstate. Cruise control even has the potential to increase your fuel efficiency. 

But if it begins to rain, cruise control is not a good idea. Make sure that your teen understands the appropriate steps to take when driving on wet roads.

This includes turning off the vehicle’s cruise control option. Cruise control is designed to maintain a steady speed for the vehicle. On wet roads, this can cause the vehicle to hydroplane and potentially lead to a crash.

It is vital to teach your teenager about the strengths and weaknesses of the cruise control feature.

By teaching your teen good driving habits, you can ensure that they have the safest experience possible. 

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