Spending Time Together

Help The Young Driver In Your Family Work On These Driving Scenarios

Successfully getting a driving permit and beginning to get some experience behind the wheel is only the beginning for your teenage driver. While your young driver can book in-car sessions with his or her driving instructor, it's also ideal if you take some time in the passenger's seat of your vehicle while your teen gets accustomed to driving. It's likely that the teenager will be skilled in some elements of driving and find others to be difficult. By focusing on those in the latter category, you can help him or her feel more confident on the roads, long after you're no longer riding together. Here are some specific areas to address.

Backing Into A Parking Spot

Your teen may be having trouble with parallel parking, but it's best to let a professional driving instructor help in this area unless you're highly proficient yourself. Instead, help the teen work on backing into a parking spot, which is often performed more when out and about than parallel parking. Give verbal cues to help your young driver pull up to the spot in a perpendicular fashion, check for hazards on each side of the vehicle and then begin backing up and turning the wheel. The goal is to be able to do this movement with precision, as other vehicles can often be blocked until the vehicle is tucked safely in the parking spot.

Changing Lanes On The Highway

While you might not want your teenager to spend much time in the fast lane on the highway, he or she should feel comfortable changing lanes and moving in and out of traffic safely. Novice drivers will often tap the brakes or change lanes with hesitation; work with your teen to practice putting on the signal, making a shoulder and mirror check and then smoothly making the lane change. This should be done in one swift movement, and this skill can develop with ample practice.

Night Driving

Night driving is something that takes a little practice for beginners, so it's helpful if you're with your teenager to provide guidance and support. Talk about remembering to dim his or her high beams when other drivers approach, how to glance away from an oncoming vehicle's headlights to avoid being temporarily and partially blinded by them, and how to be extra aware of hazards that aren't as visible during dark conditions. You may be hesitant for your teen to drive at night in the weeks and months ahead, but practicing with him or her will make you both feel more confident.

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