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Before Starting the Engine

Drivers Icon Teaching Your Teen to Drive

Before Starting the Engine

  • Review your teen’s instruction Be aware of any provisional restrictions and additional instructions.
  • Identify practice areas appropriate to your teen’s driving ability. This will allow you to be aware of any hazards, signs, or Start with basic driving situations, such as in a residential or rural area, and increase complexity over time. Congested, urban traffic or freeways are not the best starting areas.
  • Until your teen has learned the traffic rules and how to control the vehicle, you may consider practicing in a vehicle with an automatic transmission, if possible, because it is easier to drive.
  • Evaluate the vehicle’s tire tread. Each tire must have 1/32” inch tread depth grooves and any 2 major adjacent tread grooves.
  • Review and demonstrate the proper arm signals for: a left turn, a right turn, and slowing down or stopping.
  • Have your teen sit in the driver’s seat of the vehicle, and before starting the engine:
    • Adjust the seat, if necessary.
    • Adjust the mirrors, if The vehicle must have at least 2 mirrors, including one on the outside of the left side of the vehicle, that are secure, unbroken, and provide clear visibility.
    • Fasten the safety belt(s). For the best protection, safety belts should be adjusted to fit your teen before they start Always wearing your safety belt helps develop a habit for your teen anytime they are driving. Note: The parent or guardian seat should be positioned to allow them to take control of the vehicle, if needed.
    • Locate and demonstrate that the following are fully functional:
      • Driver window
      • Turn signals
      • Brake lights
      • Hazard warning lights (emergency flashers)
      • Emergency/parking brake
      • Defroster (front/rear)
      • Horn
      • Headlights
      • Windshield wipers

Note: The windshield should be free from any cracks and material obstructing or reducing visibility.