So, you’ve got a new driver in the family. This can feel both exciting and scary at the same time. Unfortunately, Motor Vehicle Crashes are the second leading cause of injuries resulting in death. Driving is a risky activity and can result in life altering injuries or death when a mistake is made. There is no “do-over” if your teen crashes.
Learning to drive safely is a big deal, choosing who will teach and coach your new driver is just as significant. Defensive driving is “driving to prevent crashes IN SPITE of the actions (and mistakes) of other drivers and the conditions around you.” Learning to drive well involves handling the car and knowing the rules, but more importantly, learning techniques that reduce risk by predicting and avoiding the mistakes of other drivers.
As a parent, you are making a choice that could massively affect your new driver’s future. You only get to learn to drive the first time, once. To help you, we have laid out some of your options.
Our recommendation is for your new driver to attend a quality driving school. We suggest ours, but if for some reason you choose otherwise, choose a good school, pay the money for quality instruction. This is not a situation to take the low cost option. If this is your child, ask yourself what their life is worth?
Any driver training could be better than none so perhaps if you choose not to send your family member to a top quality school, they may still learn something.
The worst option in our opinion is to teach your new driver yourself or have a different family member do it. Professional driving instructors deliver a quality program, teach everything that a new driver needs and have the skills in adult education and training techniques to make it easy, fun and safe in a fully dual control car. You are not the best or most qualified person to teach your child to drive. You can and should play a significant role as a supervisor/coach, co-pilot when your new driver practices what we teach.
Let us prepare your new driver to spend a lifetime driving safely, defensively and skillfully. Support us in this task by being a great co-pilot and coach.
We have been in driver safety for 20+ years, this is what we do.
Students will benefit if they practise their driving often, whenever opportunities present themselves. We encourage parents/family members/supervisors to be involved in the learning process as well.
Here are a few tips to help supervisors be the best they can be:
- Provide opportunities and encourage new drivers to get behind the wheel often
- Stay calm and be patient (Yes, it’s easier said than done)
- Follow practise recommendations in lesson notes
- Lead by example, new drivers are watching