The following article is by Ray Attebery at learntodriveacar.com
If you have a teenager who is getting old enought to drive a car or one who has a new license and you are concerned about
their ability to drive...You have come to the right website...please review the following to prepare yourself for the good,
the not so bad, and hopefully not so ugly.
Train Your Teen Driver To Be A Responsible Driver
Easy To Follow Instruction, Guidelines and Recommendations To Remember for Every Parent.
as if it were yesterday, everything my wife and I went through and did when instructing and training our new teen driver son
to how to drive a car.
I'm Ray Attebery, President and CEO of Drive Safely Inc. Welcome to our web site...
are things that your teenager “can’t tell you” about their relationship with your their parents and other
adults outside school. But one central reality emerges when teenagers speak openly about their own behavior, emotions, and
needs. Without exception, they desire the attention, caring, and support of adults in their lives, particulary their parents.
They realize that without it, they cannot do as well at their task of growing into who and what they want to be.
parents, we wonder how best to help our teens in school, in life, in relationships, etc., the message may be different from
what most expect. Connecting with us as parents matters even more than school, young people say. Far more than they need our
help with their homework, they crave our support as we navigate through life trying to determine their identity as they grow
and achieve their independence as adults.
A driver's license to your teen is a giant step toward independence. It is
quientisential freedom from the ties that bind...it is excilerating and at the same time it is the first time they enter into
a world that statistically for them...is very dangerous! Driving a car on a highway. However, as a parent, coaching your teen
how to drive a car is one of the major ways for you to connect with your teen in a number of meaningful ways.
going to share with you what my wife and I did that worked, and for your consideration, what we think you should do to assure
your teenager becomes a considerate and safe new driver. Up until the time our son turned 20, he was a great student, a great
athlete, and even to this day, he has never had a wreck!! nor harmed anyone or anything with his car...and to this day..still
We have a great deal of content on this web site so we recommend you take notes, get your notepad, and pencil!
or open up microsoft word, and get ready to to copy and paste..you have our permission to do so...we just ask that you give
us credit. A lot of information is about to come your way. The information and products on this web site will point out and
give you the tools and resources you need to training your teen driver much more efficient, effective, easier and FUN!!!
we did, wanted to do, learned to do and accomplished when we trained our teenage son to drive, you're going to experience,
if you haven't begun experiencing it already.
At howtodriveacar, we just have the advantage being aware of what works
and what isn't as effective since HOWTODRIVEACAR.COM is all about helping new or existing drivers to learn how to drive and
particularly for you as parents, who must train your new teen driver how to drive. I was the Executive Vice President for
TOP DRIVER a nationwide chain of Driver Training Schools and I have been there and done many times over, I can assure you.
of all, you must make a commitment to driver education by sharing lots of hours (defined as hard work) on and off the road
with your teenager, to insure your teen becomes a safe, courteous and cautious driver. Providing your teen accurate and meaningful
driver education instruction and training is about your own personal commitment to quantity and quality time with your teen
and that of your teen as well.
If your Teen Driver is to learn anything, driver education must begin with you...it
is your responsibility, not the school, not the state, not the instructors.. simply yours. I don't believe I can say it nor
can I make it any clearer than this. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE AND ACCOUNTABLE for your teenager in the eyes of the law. Your teen
driver will get out of it what you put into it yourself as to time and resources for their driving instruction and driver
Here are a few pointers that you should remember when training your teen driver. Consider them as guidelines
to live by as you progress with insuring the proper driver education training for your new teen driver. Understand that training
teens to drive is not an art nor a science. There is no real right way or wrong way to train anyone. As Nike so admirably
puts it..Just Do It!..however, we have a few BEST WAY methods we feel are more effective than others. It all starts with the
attitude of your teen and your attitude. It must be a positive and proactive partnership between you. It is a time that believe
it or not will solidfy the "ties that bind" many years down the road.
HOW to Train Your Teen Driver
From our point-of-view, here are some guidelines to begin with...
Take it slow and easy and remember "Safety First" is always the best message.
Don't rush things or you risk putting your teenager and yourself in a situation neither one of you may be able to handle.
Sit down with your teen and discuss what both of you want to get out of the driving experience. Before you begin any practice
session, discuss and agree on what the two of you will practice, when, and where. Don't talk down to your teen, you are really
partners working together in the interest of both of you.
You need feedback from your teen. Make sure your teen is OK with doing the what, where, and when driving practice.
A soft mellow voice is best when giving your teenager driving instructions. Don't get excited, no matter what.
Do not procrastinate when discussing what you want he or she is going to do during a driving lesson. Avoid anxiety and
tension since they are detrimental to the learning you expect to achieve during the driving session.
Be firm, fair, and consistent with your instructions. Your teen is not clairvoyant. Simply say in a calm voice "at the
next traffic light, make a right turn into the next parking lot. The parking lot is just up here on your right". Don't expect
your teenager to be a mind reader.
My wife and I were fortunate that our teen driver learned to drive an automobile
quite skillfully. Your new teen driver can experience the same success as ours if you will be hands on as to their learning
and be a coach who is also their friend.
When we started training our teen, we had no idea, and we never realized
the degree of work it would take for him to learn how to drive a car. I had been driving for over 25 years by the time he
turned 16, it seemed so easy for me to do it..why not for him. Talk about a Wake-up call!
If you are reasonably organized,
you can assure yourself that your teem will become a responsible, cautious, and safe minded driver.
I'm going to show
you how to avoid taking three steps forward and two steps back when it come to your teenager knowing what to do, when to do
it and how to do it RIGHT everytime.
The following is what we did and more importantly, IT WORKED....
your teen driver's sessions into manageble parts that are easy for to understand and to work with. In each training session,
focus on your teen's training to develop important skills as to how to operate their automobile under driving conditions that
as a new teen driver, they can handle. When they can "do it" with consistency, move on to the next session lesson. Don't Rush
How To Teach Your Teen Driving Skills
Start training your teen on the following as one session at a time. Life is too short particularly when
teaching, giving instruction and training your teen how to drive a car:
Start out in a High School, Church, or Shopping Center parking lot, then move on to,
Residential Street driving and then,
Pick out a specific place to drive to – supermarket, church, high school, movie theater, now time for,
Freeway driving during a slow time of day during the week, even if it is real early or real late to be ready for,
Random driving around the neighborhood until your teen is ready to,
Drive at Night in the Neighborhood and then go back to,
Freeway driving on the week-end, during the day and finally,
Plan a long trip with varied driving on the Freeway, exiting, driving around strange neighborhoods, re-enter the Freeway,
and make sure you and your teen go through all the paces and lessons learned so far.
Inclement Weather..when conditions permit, and in a residential area at first.
Once your teen driver has a learner's
permit, it is critically important to take it easy when teaching him/her to drive. Avoid information overload, and etc., at
your teen driver that he or she can't handle. They need time to absorb the information and can when you slow their pace of
learning. Take it slow and easy and they will learn how to be effective and safe drivers.
Once your teenager secures a learner's permit, the first few weeks of practice should be fun for both of you and relatively
easy. For instance, finding and agreeing on a mall, church or high school parking lot to practice acceleration, stopping,
parking, backing-up, and turning are the first skills to practice.
It is important that your teen driver doesn't come
to believe that during these early stages of training, they will suddenly be able to safely drive an automobile. Believe it
or not, they can begin to believe and start to think that since they can drive an automobile in a relatively safe parking
lot they are now able to handle their car anywhere else they care to drive.
Don't believe it? Watch out for it...and
don't go for it in any way, shape, form, or manner!
A few day after we started practice lessons with our Son in our
church parking lot, our son decided to take "sneak" the car out for a spin around 'ole block, without us. To his surprise,
and our gratitude, oue neighbor saw him. My neighbor asked if he had his drivers license, which he didn't, so our neighbor
told him to drive the automobile back into the garage.
Teen bravado is not uncommon in a lot of cases, including driving.
Please remind youself at all times that your Teen is eager to gain their freedom and will rationalize to come to believe that
his or her driving skills are well developed after a few brief driving lessons. Stick to the plan as above, don't rush it,
and make sure your teen understands and keeps the agreement both of you made when you started.
After you're done doing
a few training sessions in a parking lot environment, it's time to move on into driving in street traffic. Be advised that
the first street driving session could be fairly nerve-racking for your teen.Think about it... out of the parking into a flow
of moving traffic. If your teen has a white knuckle grip on the steering wheel, and starts pumping the brakes, it's back to
the parking lot until your teen can manage normal traffic driving conditions. Don't put or leave them in situations they clearly
As a parent, you can feel very un-nerving and uncomfortable, when you realize that if a emergency situation
arose requiring action on your part, it is impossinle to move into the driver seat while your teen is in it to gain control
of the wheel, the brakes, and otherwise handle a touchy situation. My motto is...if you can't do it...talk 'em through it.
the Residential Street Driving phase of teaching our teen how to drive, we used dead-end streets to start to avoid most traffic.
Your goal is to get your teen driver to gain a "feel" for the car and the street, which is different than driving in a secluded
parking lot. One-Way streets where traffic is light or un-congested is a VERY GOOD place to learn!
In our case, we
felt confident our Son could handle more intense sessions so we let him practice driving in two-way traffic where streets
were more congested with pedestrians and other automobiles. We made a judgment based on how well he had performed his driving
skills in prior sessions, we did not skip the sequence as above.
As you go through driving instruction and training
with your teen driver, it's an excellent opportunity to discuss with him or her using good judgment. For instance, it is good
to keep reminding your teen driver of the following...
An Agreement to Live By Get an agreement with your teen that you and your teen will always "do the right thing, first". You and your teen driver
should discuss and agree on the following critical issues:
Each of you will obey all official road signs and driving rules.
Drive Defensively...and BELIEVE that the other driver absolutely doesn't know what you are going to do...you both agree
to drive defensively at all times while you are together and after training is completed.
Doing the right thing first
comes down to placing your and your teens personal safety above everything else. Your teen driver accomplishes this by agreeing
to the following along with you...
Committed to be "the best you can be" skilled defensive driver.
Learn how to operate an automobile and all elements of driving it.
Actually be able to perform all driving techniques and skills.
Obey all driving rules, road signs, driving instructions and traffic warnings.
Operating a motor vehicle is pretty
straightforward... driving forward, backing up, turning and parking. The ability to perform these techniques and skills effectively
and safely is what driving is all about. Remember when driving, drive in a way that follows the four agreement points as above
and your teen is well on his/her way to becoming a safe, skillful driver.
It is important that your teen clearly understand
that driving can be fun but it is also a dangerous business. Help your teen understand there is no substiture for good judgment.
You and your teen yourself need to motivate yourselves that practice, practice, practice is the way to achieving any worthwhile
skill. It is the only tried and proven way to improve your teen driver's skills and techniques.
drive defensively, and stay alert!
Once your teen passes the road test, the real training begins! Your real challenge
in driving safety and skill development is to contunue to work with your teen by supervising their driving after passing the
written and the road test. There's no way out! If you want to build a margin of driving safety around your teen you must make
a commitment to insuring their ability to handle an automobile in all driving situations to the degree you can.
You are Going to Find to be Very True...
Your teen driver is going to reach a time when he/she has enough
driving knowledge and skill to be a hazard on the road to themselves and others. Tough thing to say something like this, But
it's is more often than not true.
Your teen driver's technical driving skills will reach a point when he/she can competently
handle an automobile. The reality is, it can take up to 18 months for a new driver to have sufficient behind the wheel "hands-on"
experience to develop an instinct for driving and simply is not an inexperienced driver until the experience factor comes
into play. Don't panic, you won't have to baby sit your new teen driver another 18 months after getting a drivers license.
But, if you want to build in their ability to anticipate and react to multiple driving senario conditions then an additional
20 to 60 hours of being a passenger while they are at the wheel is a commitment you must make.
How you handle the
additional 20 to 60 drive time in the car with your teen will greatly influence the degree to which your teen driver will
become a defensive, safe and courteous driver.
"Why is 20 to 60 Additional Behind The Wheel Hours Important?"
The trend in the United States is more states require parents to insure their teens' receive 20 to 60 additonal hands on
drive time hours before letting them drive on their own. Noted Driving Experts recommend as many as 50 to 100 hours.
A few years ago, the Canadian province legislated a graduated Driver license program into law that lead to
results that were remarkable in that accidents and deaths among teen drivers were dramatically reduced in Ontario, Canada.
One reason was the requirement that parents be in the car with their teens for a minimum number of driving hours.
In addition, the Canadians placed restrictions...no night driving over a prescribed period of time plus a limit on the number
of teen passengers who could be in an automobile driven by a teen.
It really doesn't matter if your state has a graduated
driver license law in place or not, the safety benefits of your presence in the car while your teen is drving is just good
old common sense mixed with a lot of street smarts on your part.
Accompanying Your Teen for additional hours
of driving accomplishes the following:
Insures your teen builds up a wealth of driving experience before going on their own. Skilled driving experience is an
invaluable commodity when it comes to driving to stay alive.
What your teen learns from a solid base of additional hours driving with you goes a long way toward helping your teen
make the correct judgment under most situations they may encounter while driving.
Today's driving environment is much
different than it was a few years ago. The "take it easy" almost cavalier approach toward teen driver training the norm just
a few years ago is no longer acceptable. There is just too must traffic on our highways and too much risk of loss of life
to let training remain almost an after thought.
Statistics bear out the fact that teen drivers have automobile accidents
at a higher rate than older, more experienced drivers. In response to this, government and law enforcement officials are requiring
teen drivers to evidence their ability to operate an automobile safely above and beyond what was expected just a few years
The Experience Factor Your greatest challenge, as was it mine, will occur after your teen has learned the fundamental of how to drive, more to
to the point, after earning a operator's drivers license. As with most teen drivers, and as it was with our son, he truly
believed he was a very good driver. MOST teens believe that they are Great drivers. Most teen drivers learn how to drive as
far as the basics of driving a car go, it's The Experience Factor or more importantly LACK OF that will do them in at one
point or another.
As a parent, your must commit yourself to teaching your teenager to drive for a period of 3 to 6
months after their driver's license is earned. During this time, your should spend less time instructing and more time having
them drive YOU around. Your attitude should be to act as if you are a friend just driving around with them, not as a "I am
in here to second-guess you" parent.
Common sense judgment on the road, personal self-control, driving defensively
with instinctive anticipation, and what driving conditions to look for and anticipate comes from hours of hands-on driving.
Your teen driver needs as many hours behind the wheel with you in the car as possible. In the beginning your teen driver jumped
at the very opportunity to drive the car, but if he or she catches on to what you or your wife are doing, it going to get
a little touchy...your going to need to think hard as to how to get your teen to drive you where you want to go without it
appearing too planned or contrived.
After about 40 hours in the car together, our Son learned about the nuances and
threats of driving on the road, what to expect from other drivers, and could visibly anticipate warning signs from other drivers
operating their motor vehicles irresponsibly. We trust that a lot of the driving skills he leaned happened during some of
those drive mom or dad here or there requests.
HOWTODRIVEACAR.COM web site has some excellent information to help you
thoroughly plan and effectively train your teen driver how to drive a car. Enjoy our website at howtodriveacar.com.
by Ray Attebery