Parents and guardians often believe that teaching their teens better driving skills is as simple as riding along in the passenger seat as they practice. In today’s fast-paced world, teens need a broader education that focuses more on detailed explanations, positive reinforcement, and guidance about bad personal habits that increase accident risks on the road. Modern teens also need visual and experiential learning tools that take into account the general ways they learn best. Consider these tips to teach your teens better driving skills as you get started.
Show Patience and Understanding
It is okay to point out incorrect driving maneuvers and actions, but you need to balance your critiques with positive examples, explained in a patient and understanding tone so your teen does not shut you out, or feel less motivated to listen. Whenever possible, lower stress by telling funny anecdotes about your own early driving experiences. Negativity can demotivate your teen and even result in errors caused by nervousness and low self-esteem so keep things in their court with what positive statements you say.
Record Them While They Drive
A recording always has a greater impact than words, because it shows your teen visually the driving problems you see. Ask someone to record your teen from outside of the vehicle at a distance during practice lessons so they can review it later. Set up an interior camera in the back of the vehicle that records all of your teen’s physical actions while in the driver seat. They can watch and review mistakes and you can even show them through example what the right move might be in certain situations.
Show Them the Consequences
Since better driving skills include not being distracted, provide lessons about distracted driving. Show your teen statistics and videos related to distracted driving accidents. Afterward, show your teen the consequences in real life so that the experience has a greater impact on their understanding of common safety issues. Introduce your teen to injured accident victims or a Clearfield & Kofsky personal injury lawyer who can generically outline some worst case scenarios. Having a tangible result in front of them is a lot more impactful than just listing statistics.
Some of these tips may seem embarrassing or severe, but using them to teach your teen better driving skills can only make them safer. The most important thing to remember is that better driving helps prevent injuries and costly insurance premiums.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and recent graduate of the University of New Mexico. She writes for many online publications and blogs about home improvements, family, and health. She is an avid hiker, biker and runner. Contact her via twitter @BrookeChaplan.