As you grow up, everyone can relate to how exciting it is to finally turn of age and get ready to get your license. Getting your license is one of the most exhilarating milestones of all time – you are excited, you are nervous, and you are preparing for a totally new sense of freedom! When it comes to teaching your teen to drive, going to drivers-ed is helpful, but nothing gets them more ready than getting behind the wheel and practicing with a hands-on approach.

If you are raising a teenager who is getting ready to take their driver’s test to get their license, we have pulled together some of the top tips that you should keep in mind as you are teaching your teen to drive.

Teaching a Teen to Drive

Plan ahead.

First, make sure that you are planning ahead when it comes to teaching your teen how to drive. Planning when you are going to practice is important so that you can ensure you know exactly where you will practice, what time you will practice, and so your teen can have ample time to get ready.

Always practice in daylight (to start).

In the beginning, it is best to practice and learn the ropes on driving in the daylight, when it is clear and easy to see. Driving at night can feel totally different, and for some can be a little more difficult as it is harder to see, so starting with the basics during the day is always most efficient.

Make sure the weather is good.

Once you have a date picked, double check to make sure that the weather is good for the day. You will want to aim for a day that is nice and sunny, and doesn’t have inclement weather such as rain, snow, or extreme winds. The nicer the day out, the less you will have to worry about when it comes to practicing.

Leave during a quieter time of day.

It is best to avoid rush hour times while teaching your teen to drive, so that they can have an easier time driving, merging into traffic, and stopping/going. Avoid leaving early in the morning when people have their commute to work, or later in the evening when you know everyone is driving home. Mid-day is generally best for slow roads.

Let them take initiative.

Once you are ready to start, let your teen take initiative when it comes to starting the car, properly placing their hands on the steering wheel, and kicking the drive off. Of course, make sure that you are available to answer any questions that they have during this time, but allowing them to proactively start is key!

Stay calm.

This is always tough for those in the passenger seat when teaching someone to drive, but it is extremely important to stay calm throughout the process! Keep in mind that your teen will not be a perfect driver, especially in the beginning, so staying calm is best to avoid a stressful environment, which also may impact their ability to drive.

Stay aware.

As they are driving, make sure that you are also staying aware of your surroundings so that you can warn them if anything comes up. Focus on the road as much as your teen is, and make sure you are giving them enough time and notice if you want them to make a turn, turn around, or pull into a parking lot.

Set a good example.

Lastly, remember that you are not only teaching your teen to drive when they are behind the wheel, but also when you are as well! Try your best to set a good example when you are driving and they are in the car, as they will likely pick up habits from you during this learning stage.