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5 Things NOT to Do While Teaching Your Teen How to Drive

As a parent, one of the most nerve-wracking stages of your life is when your teenager comes of driving age. While they might be eager to start driving, you know the dangers of driving all too well. The fact that every day there are roughly 800 people injured in a drunk driving crash is sobering enough to begin with. Now that your baby is all grown up and ready to put tire to pavement, you have every right to feel scared for their safety. Still, everyone needs to learn how to drive at some point. To make it easier for everyone, avoid making the following mistakes at all costs.

  1. Freaking Out
    One of the most common complaints teenage drivers have about their parent during driving instruction is that they overreact to mild events. Both teen drivers and their instructor have different perspectives on driving. As a parent who has likely driven on a daily basis for many years, you are not going to be used to sitting in the passenger seat. It’s sometimes scary to do this even when another adult is behind the wheel. Still, freaking out will only serve to discourage or scare your teen.
  2. Sweating the Scratches and Dings
    The auto body industry alone is worth $42 billion. If your teenage learner accidentally scratches the door of your freshly cleaned car, don’t make a big deal out of it. This is such a common problem that almost all car owners face. Getting angry with your teenager will only cause a fight.
  3. Overemphasizing Less Important Skills
    The dreaded parallel parking portion of every road test is a bear to master. While it is important to learn how to parallel park, there is some dissent about its inclusion in the road test. There are more important and potentially life-saving techniques that would strengthen your teen’s driving skills.
  4. Not Focusing on Instruction
    After a few weeks of practice, you might begin to feel comfortable with your teen behind the wheel. Don’t stop now. Remember, there are many small and undetectable things you do while you’re driving. Try and mention these skills as much as you can without irritating your teen.
  5. Getting Stuck in a Rut
    If you drive the same route every day, your teen will likely not learn very much. Studies show that parents who help their children practice driving in different weather and light conditions see better driving safety test results.

Teaching your teen how to drive can be an excellent bonding experience. Or it could be angsty and dangerous. So long as you are focused on improving their driving prowess and not overreacting to small mistakes, your teenage driver will be fine. Sure, there are dangers. Life is full of them. Just do your best to teach your teen everything they need to know about driving safety.

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