How to Help Your Teen Prepare for the Drivers Test
We parents all know the stress and happiness that comes with your child getting a driver’s license. On one hand, it feels scary and dangerous. On the other hand, it feels wonderful that your kid is growing up and becoming an adult. So I thought it would be fun to make a post discussing how we, the parents, can help our kids get their driver’s license and become safe drivers.
1. Go through the vehicle and explain the controls
The first thing we are going to do is to go through everything in the vehicle like how to use all the features of the car, such as the windshield wipers, turn signals, and the brake pedal. I think this is probably one of the most important things you can do, as nothing good can come out of not understanding the vehicle you drive.
2. Practice driving in a safe, controlled environment
According to the NHTSA, one of the best ways to prepare for the driving test is to practice driving in a safe, controlled environment. This can be done by having your teen drive around your neighborhood. Before my kids will be allowed to drive around our neighborhood, I will have them practice in an empty parking lot. I have read that this can be really helpful in the beginning!
3. Go through the rules of the road when driving
Before your teen can take the permit and driving test, they need to be familiar with the rules of the road. I’ll make sure to go over the basics and explain traffic rules whenever I drive, such as stopping at stop signs, turning signals, and yielding to pedestrians. I’m going to do this with my kids well in advance so they have some basic knowledge before they even start studying.
Since we live in Massachusetts, I will most likely get a copy of the Massachusetts Driver’s Handbook or one of the study tools I have seen online. This would probably help ME stay safer on the roads as well! I’ve actually started studying a bit myself recently with this online practice test to refresh my driving knowledge. It’s definitely something I recommend and I actually feel like I’ve learned quite a lot.
4. Drive in different weather conditions
The permit and driving test are not just about knowing the rules of the road. It also involves solving problems on the fly. And how can you solve different situations behind the wheel? Experience. Therefore, we are going to be driving in many different situations, such as heavy traffic and bad weather. We are also going to go through different scenarios, such as what they should do if the car breaks down.
Here are some of the things I am planning on going through.
- Good places to stop in bad weather, or if they feel tired while driving.
- Adjusting their speed to the driving conditions.
- Driving at night.
- Parking in different situations.
- The dangers of drunk driving.
- Proper speeds and defensive driving.
5. Be supportive
We all know our kids best, and for some of them is really important to get a license. I’ve read that it can be good to teach them deep breathing exercises and have some positive self-talk before taking the test. Especially if they are nervous. So, that’s also on the to-do list.
6. Don’t let them play computer games late at night the day before!
Seriously, being tired when taking the permit test or driving test is kind of setting yourself up for failure. Apparently, eight hours of sleep is supposed to be ideal to stay focused. So, let’s just say that computer games will not be allowed after a certain time the day before the test.