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During Practice

Drivers Icon Teaching Your Teen to Drive

  • Avoid all distractions. The stereo and other electronic devices should be turned This includes cell phones. Initially avoid having passengers in the vehicle. As your teen gains experience, passengers may be in the vehicle but should not interfere or distract your teen.
  • When giving directions, first state where the action will take place, and then state the action to be completed (for example, “at the next intersection turn left”). Give directions in plenty of time so your teen can understand and prepare to complete the action.
  • Be patient, sympathetic, and Keep your voice calm. Be alert at all times.
  • Avoid the use of terms with possible double meanings ( instead of “right” in response to a question, say “correct”).
  • For each action, guide your teen through 2 or 3 practice trials, and then allow your teen to practice without specific assistance or direction.
  • Avoid driving long distances. Even 1 hour can be exhausting to a new It may be better to initially start with short driving experiences and build up to longer ones. Stop practicing when your teen becomes tired or upset.
  • Read the traffic environment ahead, to the sides, and behind while observing your teen’s driving behavior.
  • If you see a bad traffic situation ahead that your teen cannot handle, pull over and stop.
  • Do not expect your teen to drive the way you do. You have years of experience and have developed behaviors and patterns that your teen does not have.
  • When your teen is done practicing, show them how to park the vehicle and turn off the engine.
  • After driving, evaluate and summarize each driving Ask your teen how they think they did. This could help identify concerns and things that should be practiced. This guide provides a sample lesson plan and pages for tracking your teen’s progress.