If you’re the parent of a teenager or two, the time will finally come when they turn around and ask to learn to drive. And because you love them, it’ll be terrifying. However, as much as you’d like them to rely on public transport and lifts from friends fro the rest of their lives… that’s not fair. Learning to drive and passing their test is a rite of passage for everyone. More than likely, it’s going to happen with or without your consent, so here are 5 tips to help them become better drivers in the UK.
Tip 1: Always remember the rules when it comes to lessons
Learning to drive is a mission, so understand what’s involved first. When taking lessons, learners must always be accompanied by someone who is 21 and in possession for a full driving licence. They also need to have had that licence for at least 3 years and the licence needs to entitle them to drive the car the learner is in. In other words, if your teen wants to drive a manual car, the person in the car with them must be qualified to drive a manual vehicle.
Tip 2: Don’t rely on private driving lessons
Being taught to drive by a friend or family member can be problematic. Don’t be led into temptation by the thought of saving a bit of money here and there – it’s just not worth it. The main thing is that your son or daughter gets taught how to drive by an instructor who knows how to get the job done. The ultimate aim is for your child to develop life-long road safety skills, not for anyone to cut corners.
Tip 3: Be a good role model
It should go without saying that if you want your child to become a good, reliable and safe driver, you should be too. Always pay attention to your surrounds, keep your emotions in check and do your best. Anything less and you risk your son or daughter noticing… and developing the same habits.
Tip 4: Consider intensive driving courses
On average, UK learners take almost 14 months to pass their test. It might be that the format of weekly lessons just aren’t very effective and that your teen could be better suited to an intensive driving course. They’ll need to block out a chunk of their time, but the pass rates are really high. They’re great because they build upon driving knowledge quickly, as opposed to doing things slowly and forgetting important driving concepts.
Tip 5: Passing your test is just the beginning
The early weeks and months after a new learner passes their test is often the most dangerous. Remind your son or daughter that they’re still gaining driving experience and that they’ll continue to do so pretty much every time they get behind the wheel. They should always stick to the basics – that means no using gadgets, no driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and no driving when tired. They should also exercise caution when driving friends around.