Can I get my driving licence please, mum?
It’s finally here. Your teen recently had their 17th birthday and they are now old enough to get their provisional licence and are eager to learn to drive. While you may appreciate not having to chauffeur them all over, you may wonder if your teen and driving are a good combination.
Maybe you wouldn't view your teen learning to drive with so much trepidation if the statistics for teenage driving weren’t so dismal. From what you’ve read, you can expect traffic collisions, speeding, reckless driving, fines, points and possibly worse. You’re just not sure you are ready to let your teen behind the wheel.
Remember, however, that your teen is growing up and learning to drive is a natural part of the process. Can you recall how you felt when you were their age and were about to embark on the path to freedom? Your teen isn’t any different. They’re looking forward to being able to get around without their parents just like you did.
Before they get behind the wheel for the first time, sit down and talk with them. Explain to them how important it is to follow the rules of the road. Give them a copy of the highway code that they’ll need to read and know before they can take their driving test.
If you want them to follow the speed limit, make sure you follow the limit as well. It’s helpful to remember that more is caught than taught, and that goes for driving, too.
Explain to them that using a mobile phone while driving, as well as being illegal just isn’t safe. The best thing to do would be to either pull over and take the call or ask someone else to take the call. You will then be able to keep your hands on the steering wheel and your eyes on the road.
Encourage your teen to pay attention to what’s going on around them even if they aren’t driving. By paying attention while a passenger, it will increase the likelihood that they’ll pay attention when it counts.
As well as having lessons with a professional, before taking their driving test, your teen will most likely ask you to take them driving. But what sort of a driving instructor will you be? Take a minute and complete the following quiz created by comparethemarket.com with psychologist Donna Dawson and see if you have the right psychological profile and personality to successfully pass on driving knowledge. You may be in for a surprise!
Teens and driving seem to go together, at least from the standpoint of the teen. While you may not be ready for your teen to drive, it’s going to happen. Try to be supportive, give them the benefit of your experience, and ensure they’re signed up with a good local driving school. Before you know it your teen will be able to chauffeur you instead of it being the other way around.