JMJ94 *As you are driving together, discuss safety issues beforehand, as well as when they come up. For instance, maybe another driver neglected to use a turning signal and cut in front of you. Above all, get the message across never to assume that the other driver will do what they are supposed to do, or that they even saw your car.
Ring the School Bell 94/180 days
Driver’s Ed has entered Sabrina’s life, a 5-week course offered by AAA. 6:30pm-9:17pm is definitely not the most advantageous time for us, and it is across town and involves two freeway interchanges, but it is what it is. The course is a combination of in-class and behind-the-wheel instruction.
I am mainly concerned that she learn about road safety, and I am a little petrified to teach her myself, so I am hoping that AAA will alleviate my fear somewhat!
The title above, “Letting go of driver’s ed fear”, in this case, refers to me, the parent, and not Sabrina. She feels completely ready for this. I am the nervous one!
I imagine when all is said and done, we will be ready to hand over the family car keys to Sabrina, but I have to admit the prospect of it is quite scary right now.
Tips for Teaching Teens how Drive
(Since I am writing this post in the future, I can assure you, the reader, that everything worked out fine, and that Sabrina has proved to be a very capable driver. These are the tips which I have acquired through experience.)
- Look into driving instruction courses, such as the one Sabrina took at the AAA. Her instructor gave her invaluable advice on road safety as well as the importance of defensive driving.
- Start slow. Teach one skill at a time, for example, one day focus on pulling in and out of parking spots. Do not move on to a new skill, until your child is comfortable.
- Stay off the freeways for a while. When you do start navigating the freeways with your child, try to stay out of the merge in/out lane as much as possible, which can cause a novice to panic. (If you are in a rural area, lucky you!)
- As you are driving together, discuss safety issues beforehand, as well as when they come up. For instance, maybe another driver neglected to use a turning signal and cut in front of you. This is a great time to discuss this hazardous behavior. Above all, get the message across never to assume that the other driver will do what they are supposed to do, or that they even saw your car.
- Save night-time driving for last. The highest percentage of accidents happen between 9-midnight.
- 12% of teen crashes are due to distracted driving, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Be a good example always, especially when the kids are young and watching every move you make. Do not touch the cell phone while driving.
- Looking to the future when your child will drive, discuss repeatedly that drinking and driving is absolutely not allowed. Emphasize that they can call anytime if a friend or themselves need a ride, however inconvenient it might be for you.
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** Note to the Reader- Today’s narrative is an excerpt of our family’s school journey from a few years ago, during my eldest daughter’s senior year in high school, a rather emotional year, with its many ups and downs.
May God shower blessings on your family as he has on mine. Annette