One of the best ways to influence your teen drivers habits is to sit in the copilot seat as your teenager learns to drive.
You might feel better about your teenager driving if you had some influence over how your teen handles themselves behind the wheel. Chances are good that you are not a certified driving instructor, chances are also good that you are a better role model than most of your teen's friends who are also just learning to drive. Your influence could make a difference- a difference that could save your teens life.
One way to try to ensure sanity during your practice sessions is to try to focus on just one aspect of driving each time you drive together.
Taking the process in small doses just may provide a way for you and your teen to really cover some ground.
Stay cool as the copilot. Start with the right frame of mind. Stay Alert. Start with short practice sessions, then build up to longer drives. Start in an empty parking lot and set an easy attainable goal for them for each session. Empty parking lots are great to help them get a feel for turning accurately and starting and stopping smoothly but in a safe environment with no other traffic. Make sure they can see in all the mirrors, out the windows, adjust the seats as needed. Identify blind spots in your vehicle. Each vehicle has different blind spots so make sure you walk around the outside of the vehicle with them looking in the mirrors and have them identify when they can't see you. That is a blind spot.
Start your drives on quiet residential streets. Map your route in advance. Stress to your teen the importance of always staying alert to parked cars, cyclists, pedestrians, and other hazards like construction. Always stress that a slower cautious appropriate speed is ok at first. Obey the posted speed limits and its ok to go slower sometimes.
Making sure the time is a positive experience and learning experience are essential. Keep your cool and watch your tone of voice.
Your teen is probably convinced that they know just about everything, but chances are they are probably scared to death for once so be calm and move the process along slowly with encouragement. Don't give examples of what not to do. Show them the process of how to do it right all along. These are just a few of the tips from a brochure I have in my office free to you from Met Life Auto & Home named: "Teaching your Teen to drive, without driving you crazy."
Make sure you understand and follow all local laws regarding drivers education and the process to earn a permit and drivers license.
See Maine laws here: https://www.maine.gov/sos/bmv/licenses/teendriver.html
Another excellent program adopted by many states and the State of Maine is the Parent Supervised Driving Program linked below:
We all want our kids safe as they head out on the road. Lets make sure we do all we can to keep them safe.