Many Colorado parents have different feelings about their teens reaching the driving age. Some parents may think that it is an exciting time in any teen’s life, and they cannot wait to help their child learn how to drive. Others may feel hesitant about putting their child behind the wheel of a vehicle that could cause serious harm if not used properly. Whatever camp you fall into, you undoubtedly want to make sure that your teen is a safe driver.
Because you and your child’s other parent will likely be the ones teaching your child to drive, you certainly want to do so in an effective manner. If this is your first child to reach driving age, you may want to brush up on some tactics to help him or her drive safely and help yourself be a good coach.
Tips for you
As your child learns to drive, much of the safety precautions will need to come from you. Your child will not yet have the skills or experience to know what to look for while on the road or how to make certain maneuvers safely, so you will need to watch out for hazards. As a result, you may want to keep the following tips in mind:
- Make sure your child is ready to drive. If he or she seems overly anxious, stressed or frightened, waiting until your teen is in a calmer mindset may prevent an increased risk of danger.
- Remember that your child will need your directions, both in how to drive and where to drive.
- Avoid being overly harsh or critical when correcting driving behaviors.
- Give your child ample time to prepare for a turn, to change lanes or come to a stop when giving directions.
- Say “correct” instead of “right” when giving your child praise to avoid confusing that praise with a directional instruction.
- Start your child’s lessons off in a parking lot or other area where there is little to no traffic and few other hazards.
- Getting to know the car and its functions — such as how to operate the windshield wipers, turn signals, headlights and more — is essential when learning how to drive.
This learning experience can be exciting and stressful for both you and your teen driver. If either of you begins to feel overwhelmed, it is best to take a break or postpone the lesson for another time.
Though you may do your absolute best to instill safe driving practices in your child, you cannot control how other drivers on the road behave. In the event that a reckless or negligent driver causes your child or you harm by causing a collision, you may want to remember that taking legal action to seek compensation for damages may be warranted.