A milestone in virtually every teen’s life is being able to get their driver’s license.
It symbolizes a new level of maturity, independence, and getting a car of their own…hopefully, sooner than later.
However, before they are able to own that little piece of plastic that means so much, they have to take their driver’s test; a test that, of course, includes both written and actual driving examinations.
This means that there is training that is involved even before going to their local DMV.
So, if you are preparing your teenager for their driving test, here are five essential skills that they need to pass with flying colors so that they can be a safe driver on the road:
They need to be familiar with their car.
We all remember what it was like to be so excited about driving that we basically thought that all we needed to know was where they steering wheel, gas and brake pedals were.
That kind of presumption can cause some unfortunate mishaps up the road if your teen is not careful.
So, before they even put the key into the ignition of any car that they are driving, spend some time making sure that they are familiar with where the dashboard controls are, how to turn the lights (low and high beams) on, how to adjust their mirrors, how to use the emergency lights and brakes and if it is a five-speed, how to properly shift from one gear to the next.
They need to be alert.
One of the most important things that you can tell any teen is that they need to not just drive for themselves, but to drive assuming that the people around them may not be as alert as they are.
For this reason, they should always look in their mirrors to see what’s going on around them, they should have a safe distance away from the car in front of them, they should not assume that people are going to use their blinkers and so, therefore, they should look ahead for signs of driver’s changing lanes and they should especially adhere to the speed limits in residential areas and late at night as to avoid children or pets that many suddenly run out into the street.
For these reasons, they should also keep phone usage to a minimum and definitely not text while they are driving.
They should know how to parallel park.
Not only is this oftentimes something that they have to prove that they can do during the driving portion of their driver’s license test, but it’s also a skill that makes life a whole lot easier when it comes to running errands.
Make the time to show them how to do it even if it’s just parking along the curb on the main street in your neighborhood (for starters).
As they improve, you may want to put them in different kinds of cars, like a friend’s SUV or even a large vehicle such as noble transportation limousines or another local limousine company through Limo Find.
This will not just make them expert parkers, but also get them used to be behind the wheel of other kinds of automobiles.
They should learn how to drive in different kinds of conditions.
Although it would be nice to think that it will always be sunny and dry when our teenagers hit the road, that’s not realistic.
There will be times when they will have to drive at night, in the rain and possibly in the snow as well.
When it comes to those first two conditions, make it a point to let them drive (with you in the passenger’s seat) in the dark and in the rain so that they can get a feel for the road and how to navigate their way on it during those times.
They should learn when to call for help.
There may be instances when they will need assistance while they are out on their own.
A light may come up on the dash that they don’t understand, they may experience a flat tire or they may be out with friends who have had a little too much to drink.
In any kind of case where they are not sure what to do, encourage them to call you first for instructions on what should happen next.
Sometimes matters can be made worse by trying to make a decision without the best information and so assure them ahead of time by letting them know that asking for help is a sign of maturity and it’s what a good driver does when they’re in need.