July 6, 2023


Teaching Teens How to Drive Responsibly

At OCHO we know about the importance of family and as we have the young members of the family starting to become independent and learning how to move in the world and in the streets we must know how to help them navigate. In this blog post we'll talk about how we as parents or legal guardians can help our growing teenagers to safely start getting behind the wheel so they can have the necessary knowledge and skills to move about on the road in a secure and legal way.

Remember to always lead by example. The best way is to be a role model, your driving habits and attitudes behind the wheel will  significantly influence your teen's behavior when their time comes for them to be the ones driving. Demonstrate responsible driving by obeying traffic rules, avoiding distractions, and maintaining a calm attitude. Your consistent example of safe driving practices will have a lasting impact on your young ones. 

When teens reach the required age they can obtain a learners permit or provisional license, this document allows them to begin learning to drive under certain restrictions and supervision so he or she can practice and get ready to get a drivers license. 

Learners permit ages: (14-18 years) the minimum age differs from state to state.

Requirements to obtain it may vary from state to state this are the basic requirements: 

Specific rules and conditions around a learners permit may vary from state to state.

Once your teen has obtained a learner's permit.  Start with the basics: Begin by teaching about the fundamental controls of the vehicle, such as the accelerator, brake, clutch (if applicable), steering wheel, turn signals, and mirrors. Explain how each component works and their importance in safe driving. Then start practicing driving under your supervision. Begin in low-risk environments such as empty parking lots, gradually progressing to residential streets and eventually busier roads. Familiarize yourself with the rules of the road: Make sure you're up to date with the current traffic laws, signs, and regulations in your state. This will ensure you provide accurate information.

Emphasize the importance of defensive driving, for avoiding collisions and responding effectively to unexpected situations on the road. Maintaining a safe following distance, scanning surroundings for pedestrians, cyclists and hazards, using mirrors effectively and frequently and being aware of blind spots. Encourage them to take responsibility for their actions on the road and make safe choices that prioritize their well-being and the safety of others.

Educate them about the dangers of distracted driving, particularly the use of mobile phones while behind the wheel. Encourage them to keep their phones out of reach or utilize hands-free devices for necessary communication. By emphasizing the importance of staying focused, you can help reduce the risk of accidents caused by distractions.

As parents and guardians it is very important to create an environment of open communication, a safe space, this will require a lot of patience and understanding. A space where teens are encouraged to speak about any concerns or questions they may have about driving even after they have passed the test, especially when they are driving with the learner's permit with your supervision, remain calm and attentive, and be honest with your feedback and guidance. 

Provide constructive feedback after each driving session, pointing out areas that need improvement and also what was correctly done. With a non-judgmental environment, you'll create opportunities for learning, problem-solving, and reinforcing safe driving practices.

Gradually introduce different driving conditions: As your child gains confidence and experience, gradually expose them to various driving conditions such as highways, heavy traffic, rural roads, and different weather conditions. Ensure they understand the unique challenges associated with each situation.

Teach your child different parking techniques such as parallel parking, perpendicular parking, and parking in different types of lots. Provide clear instructions and plenty of practice in various parking scenarios.

The duration of a learner's permit varies depending on the jurisdiction. It can range from a few months to a couple of years. During this period, the permit holder is expected to gain practical driving experience, good driving habits, and become familiar with traffic laws and road safety practices. So one day they can start the process to get their driver's license and be able to drive responsibly and freely with no adult supervision.

As Ocho would say, soon your little one will be out of the nest. How wonderful it is to see them grow into responsible and capable adults living their lives with great potential.

For more information on specifics learners permit by jurisdiction you can access this useful link (don't forget to check with your local DMV office as information may change over time): https://driving-tests.org/learners-permit/