teen driving. dad sits in passenger seat

Knuckles white, your hands grip the handle hanging above the passenger window, tightly. You’ve always known the time would come when your little one started learning how to drive. But, you may not have expected it to be so frightening. No worries, every parent has a little fear at the thought of their teen on the road. Here are a few things you can do to prepare them for that moment.

Teach Them How to Perform Basic Maintenance

Nothing is more important than knowing how to take care of your car. Even good drivers get stuck on the side of the road from time to time. To prepare your teen, get them started by showing them how to perform basic maintenance on the car.

Teach them where their oil dipstick is and how to check their oil levels. Showing them how to change a flat is also a good idea. If you live somewhere with cold weather, they need to know how to put on snow chains. Otherwise, they might find themselves in a tough spot once it’s below freezing.

Also, make sure they’ve gone through the car’s manual. They should be able to recognize a warning light if one of them pops up on the dash. If your car has TPMS, they need to learn which sign means a tire has gone flat, too.

Some Insurance Companies Give You a Discount For Installing a GPS Tracker

Once you’ve given your teen a car, you’ll have to pay quite a bit for their insurance. Most companies charge more to insure drivers under the age of 21 since they’re more of a liability.

Sometimes, you can get them to reduce the premiums by installing a GPS tracker in your child’s car. GPS tracking should give you some peace of mind as a parent, too.

When you’ve put one on the car, it’ll let you track it anywhere. Plus, the tracker will even pay attention to driving habits, letting you know if they’re being safe. As soon as your teen begins driving recklessly, a notification will light up your phone. Handling things after that point will be all up to you, though.

Spend Some Time in the Car While They’re Driving

Next time you have a day off, bring your kid to an empty parking lot. That’s an ideal place to show them how to operate a car without anyone else on the road.

Don’t get frustrated if it takes them a bit to pick up the basics. Without knowing anything, learning how to drive safely can be quite tough.

Begin by showing them how the accelerator and brake pedals work. Sitting in the passenger seat, let them drive around the lot in a circle. If there are still lines in the lot, you should also get them to practice parking.

Once they’ve mastered parking lot driving, it’s time to move on. Take them to a lightly-trafficked residential area where there aren’t many people walking. By bringing them somewhere like this, they’ll be able to test their skills in the real world.

Make sure they’ve practiced stopping at a few stop signs before taking them anywhere else.

Bring Them Onto the Highway

After you’ve shown them how to drive on residential streets, you’ll need to take them on the highway. Get behind the wheel and drive the car on it yourself, first. Let them watch you as you maneuver into lanes and navigate busy interchanges.

Once they’ve seen how to handle everything, it’s time to be brave. Get in the car while they drive on the highway for a few miles.

No matter what, this part is always a little nerve-wracking. Just make sure that you don’t freak your teens out by acting too anxious. Usually, teens do fine once they’re on the highway if they’ve had some practice driving before.

What to Expect When Your Teens Start Driving

It’s always a mixed affair when you get to see your teen pass another milestone. Happy and sad, you’re proud of them for growing up. But, you’ll always miss what it was like when they were your baby. Teaching your child how to drive is no different. Remember to appreciate the little moments, even if they’re scary.