Tips for Parents of Teens Drivers. Beginner’s basic driving skills

Taking an drivers education course is great for learning how to drive. The information that is critical for driving is taught at a pace that fits each student individually. As a parent of a teen driver, one of the best things you can do is take your student out driving to make sure they are getting in the practice required to feel comfortable behind the wheel. To help aid in those efforts, here are some skills that you can work on with your student so that they will be ready for their driving test. They are split into three individual lists- beginning, intermediate, and advanced.

Beginner’s basic driving skills

This list is intended to help new drivers who are just driving for the first time or are not prepared enough to drive on the road in traffic yet. Here are some of the suggested beginning skills:

  • Pre-vehicle inspection: this includes doing a walk-around of the vehicle, making sure areas are clear from debris, hazards, and small children.
  • Reading dashboard gauges: noticing gas levels, how to read the speedometer, and knowing if there are any warning lights on.
  • Review of all buttons and levers: Know where everything is located, such as turn signals, windshield wipers, headlights, hazard lights, etc.
  • Properly adjusting and using mirrors
  • Accurate, smooth maneuvering of the vehicle
  • Smooth turns done at an appropriate speed
  • Backing Up
  • Proper driver posture and positioning: hand position, foot position, etc
  • Controlled, smooth stopping
  • Parking in a marked stall
  • Turning off the car

Intermediate Driving Skills

Once the beginning skills are mastered and the driver is comfortable with the basics of a vehicle, it is time to move that experience on to the road. Note the level of traffic and don’t attempt driving while there are too many cars out. Ensure that visibility is good too with clear weather and good lighting. It is also important to make sure there is a good level of mastery for driving laws and knowing what signs mean. Here are the intermediate driving skills to work on:

  • Yield to right of way to vehicles and pedestrians
  • Keep a safe, 2-second minimum following distance between cars
  • Anticipate hazards and actions of other drivers
  • Communicates with other drivers
  • Acknowledges and can state the meaning of road signs
  • Obey speed limits
  • Use turn signals appropriately
  • Park vehicle on a curb
  • Park vehicle at an incline
  • Park at an angle
  • Enter and exit roundabouts correctly
  • Enter and exit intersections correctly, following traffic signals if applicable
  • Uses passing techniques properly and controlled
  • Keeps attention on the road

Advanced Skills

Once the beginning and intermediate skills are mastered, it is time to move on to the advanced skills. Each section should build on the other and the new driver should have a good level of comfort executing the prior skills. Here are the skills to work on with your advanced student driver:

  • Driving calmly and correctly in a rush-hour traffic
  • Adjusts driving during bad weather and bad or low lighting
  • Driving on expressways with proper entering and exiting
  • Cautious driving around semi-trucks
  • Uses caution around motorcycles and bicycles
  • Able to handle complex driving situations
  • Handles multiple driving hazards
  • Uses proper defensive driving techniques
  • Looks ahead and plans for escape routes
  • Solid knowledge of emergency procedures

Time for the Driving Test

Once a new driver has mastered the above lists, they are ready for a driving test. Identify skills that can use more practice, but also make sure you are encouraging and acknowledge areas of improvement. Whether you are helping a student with teen driver’s education or you are taking adult drivers’ education, doing an evaluation with this driving skills checklist can improve the chances of passing the driving test for licensing.

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