Teaching Your Kids to Drive
Once your kids reach the age of 17, they will probably be eager to get behind the wheel of a car. As a parent, you could consider in helping them learn. It is best to allow them to take professional driving tuition with an experienced driving instructor, and take them out to practice between their lessons. In this post there is some help and advice to enable you to do this.
Know you stuff
Before you grab the car keys and head out to the car, take some time to prepare yourself for the task at hand. You do need to know what you are doing prior to taking your loved one out in the car, as you will want to teach them correctly. Remember that your safety is at risk and so is the safety of other road users at risk if you get it wrong.
I would recommend taking a good look at your own driving first, try to think about improving any bad habits or outdated driving techniques you may have.
Read the latest copy of the highway code and consider buying one of the DVSA books on how to drive, as since you passed your driving tests things may well have changed.
Choose the right time and roads
When planning your lesson or practice session make sure you choose an appropriate time and location. There is no point going out for the first time in busy traffic or on a major road. Find a nice quiet road, such as an industrial estate and a time when there is little or no traffic. It is not fair to drop your loved one in at the deepened and give them any extra stress.
Start with the basics
Keep it simple and do not expect them to pick things up straight away. I would recommend starting with some moving off and stopping, explaining to them how to ‘set the gas’ and ‘find the biting point’. After all, unless they can move off and stop you are not going to get far. Do not attempt any junctions until they have some basic confidence, otherwise stalling at a junction may give them additional stress.
Then move on and do some very basic left and right turns, try and stay off busy main roads will lots of traffic initially.
Work with a driving school
If your child or loved one has had a few driving lessons and with an instructor, work with that instructor and practice what they have already covered on a driving lesson. You could always ask your child or loved one what they have been doing on a lesson or speak directly to the instructor.
It is best not to progress them too far too soon, the instructor may be working and looking for improvements in areas they someone may be struggling with before moving on to more complex roads and junctions.
You do not have dual controls
Unless you are a driving instructor it is very unlikely that you have dual controls so make sure you stay safe at all times. My advice would be to come to a clear understanding with your child or loved one that they will listen to you and follow your instructions at all times. Make sure they know that if you say ‘no’ or ‘stop’ that they follow the instruction.
Makre sure that you stay calm and keep the driver calm. Shouting at each other will only put you at risk. If things get a little hated or either of you start to get frustrated, find a safe place to stop and take a break. Swap places and drive home yourself if need be.
Remember that you have to go home with the person sitting next to you and you do not want to fall out, or a bad atmosphere for the rest of the day.
Make sure that the car is being driven legally. You must display front and rear L Plates and have valid car insurance for a provisional driver.
You must also be fit to drive yourself, just because you are in the passenger seat it does not mean you are exempt from the laws around alcohol etc.
Know your limits
Don’t try and be a hero. If things get too much for you and you feel out of your depth, call it a day and leave it to the professionals. Teaching someone to drive can be hard work and stressful, especially teaching a loved one.
Don’t take a driving test too early
The biggest factor when someone fails a driving test is not being ready test. So make absolutely sure your learner is 100% independent and safe as they will be no one to help them on test day. Even if they do scrape through the driving test would you really want them to be driving around on their own?
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