Teaching your child how to drive can be a daunting task, but it’s important to help teens improve their skills, judgment and experience. Parental involvement and stricter limits on driving can significantly reduce risky driving behavior during a driver’s first 12 to 18 months behind the wheel, according to the National Institutes of Health.
AAA has several resources to help parents and teens navigate through this important time. Here are a few to consider.
Build your tool kit
Parents and teens can try Teaching Your Teens to Drive, an interactive program that slowly introduces teens to the world of driving. A handbook and DVD contain lessons for you and your teen, such as vehicle control, freeway and night driving, and maneuvering in traffic. This is a handy resource to use before your child gets behind the wheel.
Prepare for hazards
For new drivers, recognizing and avoiding driving hazards is important. This computer program helps teens achieve Zero Errors Driving (ZED) by teaching them to scan, spot and act to avoid hazards in various scenarios. Driver-ZED uses real video footage in highway, country, city and work zone settings.
Agree to succeed
When you and your teen agree on certain expectations, put it in writing. AAA’s Parent-Teen Driving Agreement encourages parents and teens to discuss and establish privileges, responsibilities, rules and consequences. The checklist will help your teen progress from one privilege, such as driving at night, to the next. Fill out this agreement, sign it and post it in a place where it will be visible to everyone.