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How to Teach your Teenager to Drive



Parents know how do drive, but they don’t necessarily know how to describe or teach driving.  It is recommended to have a driving instructor work with your teen to help them learn the rules of the road.  Teens who take formal driver education courses are less likely to be involved in a car crash, get a traffic ticket or end up with a suspended license.

Working with an expert driving instructor can help your teen by having a more clear explanation on how to maneuver a 3,000 pound vehicle.  One example is, when you explain to your child to stop at a line and they see the line appear under their side mirrors then that is the perfect time to stop.

Telling your child to turn is simply not enough.  Another example is to have them turn their head and look at a target before they turn.  The direction they look is the direction the car will go. This “precision turn” will help them understand the turning process, better than just telling them to turn here.

Practicing 20 minutes each day and starting with one of two simple skills is recommended. Starting in an empty parking lot or remote road with basic skills will help your teen get comfortable with driving.  Practicing during the day, when it is light and then slowly move into night driving and wetter conditions is a great way to get them accustomed to varying driving conditions.

Using a driving log to track your teen’s progress can be useful throughout the education process.  You can find more information from the Oregon Parent Guide to Teen Driving free from DMV.