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Media post: 6 Ways Parents Can Prep Their Teens for the Road

Every teenager’s dream is the day they get their own driver’s license. While this prospect may cause stress for some parents, taking an active role in your child’s driving education will give you peace of mind, knowing they have the tools to make informed decisions and drive safely.

If you have a child who is learning to drive, take a close at these steps you should take, so you know how to help them prepare for their time on the road.

1. Create an Action Plan in Case of an Accident

No matter your driving skill level, traffic accidents are always a possibility. And for those living in big cities with a higher number of traffic incidents, you might be even warier of something as serious as a Los Angeles car accident.

It’s crucial that your child understand what to do in case of an accident and has phone numbers on hand for insurance agents and lawyers. Leave a copy of these numbers and a list of steps for how you would handle an accident in the car to put both you and your child’s mind at ease by knowing exactly how to respond. It’s best to prepare for the worst than just hope it doesn’t happen.

2. Hands-On Teaching

Driver’s Ed doesn’t have to be your teen’s only experience with driving education. The more structured experience they get behind the wheel, the better.

Find a secluded place like an empty parking lot for your child’s early driving outings. This one-on-one time will allow you to assess their skill level and maturity in a safe environment before taking them on a busy street or freeway.

3. Choosing the Right Vehicle

Often, a teen’s first vehicle is an older, used car from their parents or relatives. Even if it’s served its previous owner well in the past, you should double-check the automobile’s safety before handing the keys off to your child. Going over basic car maintenance, such as checking tire pressure, getting oil changes, and refilling windshield fluid, will prepare them for some mechanical issues they may encounter in their travels and foster a sense of ownership for their new vehicle.

4. Drive at Different Times of Day

A driver needs to be prepared for driving in different conditions. Make sure your child has experience driving during the day and at nighttime. You should always check that your headlights are in proper working order before beginning a night drive and use these trips as an opportunity to stress the importance of focusing on the road.

5. Teach by Example

How you handle your daily drives with your child in the car will significantly influence how they drive. No matter what your children hear you say, they learn best by watching you.

While you may be a seasoned driver, your driving should exude safety and caution. Avoid taking phone calls or texting while in the driver’s seat, and if a trip requires GPS, enable voice navigation. Show them how you expect them to drive.

6. Study Driving Away from the Wheel

Hands-on experience is a crucial component of teens learning to drive, but they must also pass the written driving exam. Take time with the DMV’s Driver’s Manual, and find out the best way to engage your child’s learning style. Making flashcards or taking previous years’ driving tests are simple but effective ways to prepare them for their written exam.

Prepped and Ready To Go

Teaching a teenager a skill as necessary as driving may seem like a daunting task, but there are many ways to reduce both your stress levels in this process. Follow these six tips, and your child will be well on their way to being a safe, responsible driver.

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