How To Introduce Your Child To Driving For The First Time.

Written by Kael Abbott

Your baby is now a teen, and driving is high on their priority list. We’re here to help your child progress safely from a non-driver to a safe, competent driver with various driving courses, including a safer driver course in Newcastle. If you want to be part of this process, you can start with these steps:

Step 1: Tour

Your child won’t be familiar with all of the vehicle’s features, so to help them give them a tour of the fixtures and equipment, e.g. the turn signal, windshield wipers, the manual or automatic gear stick headlights, fuel tank, boot, and bonnet opening.

Get them used to adjusting the driver’s seat and mirrors, using the emergency lights and the emergency brake (with the engine off). Discuss the meaning of the different warning/notification lights and what action is required when one comes on.

Step 2: Revisit The Areas

Now that they have a high-level overview of the vehicle, it’s time to look at details. Show them how to find the spare tyre and teach them how to change a tyre. If you are not physically strong enough to lift the tyre, make sure you have a helping hand pre-planned. Get them competent in the use of a jack and a wheel spanner.

Next, show them how to find the jumper cables. Teach them when and how to use the jumper cables.

Parking Lot Practice

After the exciting learner’s permit pass, it is time to do the traditional empty parking lot practise sessions. Forward movement with the clutch release, turning, and eventually backing up will be the main focus areas. Pulling in and out of parking can be kept for later. Teach the need for constant observation as they proceed.

The Street Phase

When the parking lot has been mastered, it’s time for some trial runs on quiet, residential roads. Low-stress situations are key. Here is where you will teach them safe following distances and reconfirm the use of the car mirrors. The constant observation you have taught them should be practised with noting signs like stop signs. At those points, they can practise slow braking and coming to a complete stop.

More Than Driving

Whilst doing your street phase, remind your enthusiastic teen driver about proper driving etiquette like the right of way at stop signs or at unplanned four-way stops and the behaviour expected in merging situations. When at a safe level of competency, find different scenarios such as school zones. Discuss the required responses to approaching emergency vehicles and law enforcement requests to pull over.

At this point, some parents take their children onto freeways and highways. We would recommend that your child attends some professional lessons, especially the safer driver course we teach in Newcastle, before this next big step. Book them in today to establish a strong driving foundation of 20 hours of driving experience that will increase their safe driving practices.

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