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Tips on how to teach your teenager to drive

This post was sponsored by Erie Insurance as part of an Influencer Activation and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

You haven’t known fear until you’ve ridden with a 15-year-old driver! Even if you have a good driver, it’s still scary, and teaching them can be even scarier!

Things have changed so much from when I got my permit and learned to drive. I remember getting my permit, when I was 15, taking driver’s ed, then getting my license when I was 16.

Now, in North Carolina, my son took driver’s ed at fourteen and a half and got his permit at fifteen. They are required to drive sixty hours before you can get your license at sixteen. Luckily, there is an app he uses to keep track of all his driving time.

It seems much more complicated than it used to be!

Now when I see a student driver car, I know there’s a kid in there that has never driven. Those instructors are brave!

Teaching a teen to drive can be one of the most stressful times of parenting.

teen boy in blue sweatshirt getting groceries out of white mini van
Meet my chauffeur that drives me to the supermarket now.

Tips on how to teach your teenager to drive.

Start slow

Start slow in an empty parking lot. You can go to an empty mall, school or company lot. The driving is slow, and your new driver can practice turning, stopping, parking and backing up without being intimated or nervous that anyone is watching.

This is a great time to practice using your car’s safety technology, like the backup camera or lane departure alarms. Many people don’t enable these features, so this is a good time for your new driver to learn how to use them properly. They don’t help if they aren’t being used, not turned on, or used incorrectly.

We spent hours in empty parking lots before going out onto real roads to make sure my son felt comfortable with accelerating, braking and turning.

Let them fiddle with everything.

My son wanted to honk the horn, wash the windows with the washer fluid, roll the windows up and down, play with the sunroof and turn the radio up loud. It irritated me at first but then realized he just needed to get it out of his system. I just let him do it so he could move on from it. It didn’t take long and now that stuff isn’t exciting anymore.

teen getting in student driver car with instructor
I had to sneak, but I got a picture of my son at driver’s ed! 🙂

Take new drivers to a variety of places.

I found that my son felt more comfortable on city roads than country roads. The roads were wider, and lights were easier to navigate than stop signs, yields and pulling out into traffic.

Don’t forget to have them drive to places like ATMs, fast food drive-thrus and gas stations, all things they’ll have to do on their own.

There is no hurry, progressively drive in more challenging places when they’re ready. There is no reason to go on the interstate in rush hour with only a few hours of practice!

teen boy in drivers seat of van

Make sure to insure your new driver.

My husband and I’ve had Erie Insurance for our home and auto for years now and it’s something you need to think about when you have a new driver in your house. Auto insurance from Erie is available in 12 states, plus D.C. and has more than 6 million policies.

Erie Insurance conducted a national survey to encourage people to use the safety features their cars may have. Luckily, cars are safer than ever before because of all the new safety technology, but many people turn those features off.

I remember when no one ever wore seat belts and how weird it felt to sit in a car with one on. Now, we don’t even think about putting on a seatbelt. It’s the same with your cars’ safety features. It will become second nature the more you use them. It will save lives and reduce crashes.

To learn more about car insurance from Erie Insurance, click here.