Preparing for a Teenage Driver
Thanks to my partnership with Discount Tire, I’m sharing tips to keep our teen drivers safe.
This is a year of big transitions in our house. I shared in a recent post that my 12-year-old will be starting middle school this fall, but my fear and trepidation associated with having a daughter in middle school is quickly brought into perspective when I think of my 16-year-old man-child behind the wheel of a motored vehicle.
Yes, my son turns 16 in November, and that means it will soon be my job to teach him to drive.
I am SO not ready for this.
Is any parent ever ready for this? I highly doubt it.
I’ve already been trying to prepare my son for the road when we’re driving together around town. If I’m the only adult in the car, he sits in the front seat, and I try to explain the traffic rules and the reasoning for some of the decisions I make behind the wheel. He seems receptive, so we’ll see how long that lasts. I think right now, he’s still curious enough to listen to me.
I also went ahead and picked up the Pennsylvania Driver’s Manual the last time I was at the DMV so he can start familiarizing himself with the rules of the road. I figure the more he knows before he gets behind the wheel of the car, the safer we will all be.
He will be taking Driver’s Ed in public school this fall, so that will be good too. It’s nice to know that I’m not entirely on my own in this daunting endeavor!
Teaching kids car maintenance and safety tips is important as well. I don’t think I would have thought of that before Discount Tire reached out to me about partnering on this post, but it’s things like knowing how to fill a gas tank and checking tire pressure that we take for granted when we’ve been driving for so many years. Kids should know how to do those basic things before we send them out on their own.
Because I’m new to this, I went to Facebook and asked for advice from my veteran teen moms, and they gave me some great ideas that I hadn’t thought of. Maybe some of these will help you too.
7 Tips for Preparing a Teenage Driver for the Road
- Before the teenager starts driving lessons, familiarize him with the rules of the road and discuss how to handle various situations as you’re driving together.
- Start your teenager driving in an empty parking lot so he can get comfortable with maneuvering the car before taking him on the road.
- Consider investing in driver’s education lessons so your teenager has the opportunity to learn from other adults as well as from you.
- Make sure your teenager gets plenty of practice driving in various weather conditions.
- Allow your teenager to practice driving with other kids in the car while you’re present. It’s one thing to learn to drive, but another to drive with the distraction of friends or siblings.
- Teach your teenager how to check the air pressure in the tires at home as well as at a local Discount Tire.
- Show your teenager how to pump gas.
- Call your car insurance provider and check into the cost of adding a teen driver to your policy. There may be adjustments they can make to help lower your premiums. Okay, that’s really a tip for preparing YOU for a teenage driver, but it’s a good idea to get this taken care of early on in the process.
In addition to all that, Discount Tire has a great list of tire safety tips that you might find helpful. I didn’t know half of these! And if you have a new teen driver in your life, you might want to take a minute and share this instructional video.
Discount Tire sent us a tire pressure gauge as a part of this program, so my husband took our son outside this morning and taught him how to check the tire pressure on our car.
This is actually not the car my son will be learning to drive with. My husband’s car, a 10-year-old sedan, is in the shop getting a tuneup at the moment, but it will most likely be passed down to our son at some point, so it’s the one he’ll learn to drive on. You better believe I’m not teaching him on MY pride and joy! Ha!
If any of you veteran parents out there have any more tips for us as we prepare to teach our son to drive, I’d love to hear them! Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.