Is Your Teen Ready to Drive? For your teen, getting a driver's license is a milestone on the road to independence. But before you hand over the keys, make sure your teen has the education and experience necessary to become a safe and responsible driver.
Know the rules In an effort to reduce the number of accidents caused by young drivers, most states have enacted some form of graduated licensing that requires teens to gradually earn full driving privileges. Under a typical graduated driver's licensing (GDL) program, once a learner's or instructional permit is issued, a teen must take an approved driver's education course and complete a certain number of hours of adult-supervised driving before taking a road test to obtain an intermediate or provisional license. A permanent license is issued only after the teen has completed any additional requirements and has remained accident and conviction free for a certain period (e.g., 12 months) or until he or she has reached age 18. Keep in mind, though, that regulations vary from state to state. When it's time for your teen to get a learner's permit, contact the appropriate department in your state to find out what requirements your teen will need to fulfill.
Put yourself in the passenger seat Completing a state-mandated driver's education course is an important first step, but it won't instantly turn your teen into a good driver. Your teen also needs plenty of practice behind the wheel accompanied by you or another experienced adult driver. Here are a few tips that can help you and your teen make the most of your practice time together:
Plan each lesson, and keep them short at first (10-15 minutes). Progress to longer sessions as your teen gains confidence. Practice in vacant parking lots and on familiar roads in low traffic areas until your teen obtains basic driving skills. Gradually expose your teen to a variety of driving conditions, including rain, nighttime driving, and highway travel. Keep stress under control by being patient and giving your teen positive feedback. Both you and your child are likely to be anxious, and staying positive can help diffuse tension.
If you find that you don't have the time or temperament to teach your teen to drive, consider hiring a professional driving instructor. A professional instructor is familiar with teaching inexperienced teens and can help your child stay calm and focused. He or she can also objectively evaluate whether your teen is ready for a driver's license.
Set some ground rules According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, injury from motor vehicle crashes is the leading cause of death among teens. This is a scary statistic for any parent, and one that highlights the importance of making sure your child is really ready for a license. Inexperience and immaturity are the two main reasons teen drivers are involved in accidents. But you can help your teen come home safely by setting some ground rules:
Limit the number of teen passengers your child can transport. When friends are in the car, your teen may become distracted or feel pressured to show off by speeding or driving aggressively. Allow your teen to drive to certain places (e.g., school or work) but not to parties or on other outings with friends. Set a driving "curfew" to limit the amount of time your teen spends behind the wheel at night when accidents are statistically more likely to occur.
Limit the amount of time your teen spends driving unsupervised in bad weather conditions. Insist that your teen wear a seat belt and make sure your teen understands that any passengers must buckle up too. Talk to your teen about the dangers of drinking and driving, as well as the penalties for doing so, and remind him or her not to ride with a friend who has been drinking.
Monitor your teen's driving skills Even after obtaining a license, your teen will still need plenty of supervision. Closely monitor your teen until he or she develops the judgment necessary to consistently make good driving decisions. Here are some ways you can help your teen become a more responsible and skillful driver:
Enroll your teen in advanced driving courses Continue to teach your teen defensive driving skills, such as giving wide berth to aggressive drivers and a keeping a safe distance behind other vehicles. New drivers are often focused on the road and may underestimate the importance of watching other drivers. Ask your teen to drive whenever you're going somewhere together and praise him or her for showing good judgment behind the wheel. If your teen gets a ticket for a traffic violation, treat it very seriously. Speeding is a primary cause of accidents involving teens. Whenever your teen rides along with you, explain why you are doing certain things as you drive (e.g., "I'm looking both ways even though the light is green in case someone is running a red light").
Call your insurer Some insurers will want you to add your teen to your policy as soon as he or she gets a learner's permit, while others will let you wait until your teen has a driver's license. Your premium will go up, so find out if your insurer offers discounts if your teen is a good student or if he or she completes a driver's education or defensive driving course.
Written by Whole life Quote | Term Life Quote : BeamaLife
Published on Nov 10, 2010
Keep stress under control by being patient and giving your teen positive feedback. Both you and your child Put yourself in the passenger s...