Remember when your kids were this age?
As parents, it’s one of our biggest nightmares; the moment that our babies hit the legal driving age is one that fills us all with fear – because what used to consist of you driving them to their friends house or to their after school soccer class, now consists of them being able to do it themselves. Scary thought, right?
Well if you’re anything like me, then it’s likely that you’ll have tried to push that thought to as far back in your mind as possible, but as much as I hate to say it, the truth is that we can’t avoid the inevitable. As soon as your youngster passes their driving test, it’s only natural for them to want to embrace that new found independence and start driving around all on their own. Although you can’t stay in control of their every move when they do so, there are things that you can do in order to ensure that they stay safe when they’re behind the wheel…
Set A Good Example
So, although you may not have realized it, you were teaching your teen how to drive long before they even started to have lessons. Now I bet many of you are thinking; “How on Earth can that be? They’ve only literally just got behind the wheel?” – well believe it or not, how you drive may just influence how they drive – thanks to the little habits that they may have witnessed and picked up after all those years of being your back seat passenger.
Whether it’s shouting at that motorist that’s just cut in front of you, or whether it’s not putting your handbrake on when you stop at the traffic lights, try and curb those habits as soon as possible. Whenever you’re in the car with your child, try and do everything by the book because doing so will help to instill a good, correct and safe habit of driving when they come to do it themselves.
Talk To Them About The Dangers
There are a whole host of dangers associated with new, young and experienced drivers, and in order to ensure that your child is fully educated to them, it’s important that you’re the ones to talk to them about it. When you do so, try to do so from a sympathetic, understanding and supportive point of view – you were a young driver too once before, so try and use your experiences of when you first learnt to drive to help your youngster.
Educate them on the dangers (and practice) of having other passengers in the car, driving during the nighttime and even, the importance of not driving under any circumstance where alcohol may be present. These are all situations that your child is bound to face as a new and young driver, so make sure you’ve covered and talked through every possible area.
Help Them With Practice
So you’ve booked your child into their first set of driving lessons, so surely it’s just up to your child’s driving instructor to help them to pass and to teach them how to drive safely, right — Wrong. Although they play a major part in doing so, it’s also your duty as a parent to try and help out with that too.
Take your child out for extra driving lessons in between their driving courses in order to give them further practice and experience in driving in real-life conditions. Not only does it help to build their confidence, and will in theory help them to pass quicker, but it will also help them to learn about the different hazard scenarios that they may come across when they do eventually pass. Taking them out on different routes each time or driving in the evenings or when it’s raining will help to do this – because chances are, not all of their lessons will cover all of these aspects. The more they practice, the more likely they will be ready for a test and can find driving test cancellations for a sooner date. This can also help with pre-test nerves, as they won’t have to overthink and have too much time to dwell on the test date if it is scheduled sooner.
Ensure Their Vehicle Is Adequately Insured
Finally, when your teen accomplishes that all-important driving test, the one of the most important ways that you can keep them safe is to ensure that the vehicle they go onto drive is fully and adequately insured. Make sure you seek the help of an insurance company comparison to ensure that you’ve got the right policy for your child’s driving needs, as many companies will offer different quotes depending on your child’s age or the vehicle their driving – so make sure you shop around to ensure that you’re getting the best deal and that your child is getting the best coverage.
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