Ways to Improve Your Teen’s Driving Confidence

Ways to Improve Your Teen’s Driving Confidence
  • Opening Intro -

    Teenagers who are learning to drive are in a vulnerable position.

    They're unfamiliar with the roads, how other drivers behave, and don't have an intuitive muscle-memory sense of driving yet.


But still, they’re going out on the road with their parents to learn. If you’re a parent or guardian teaching your child to drive, here are some ways to improve your teen’s driving confidence and set them up for safety and success.

Vary Your Route

It’s not always possible for your teen to anticipate what they need to ask questions about before they’ve gotten into that situation. For this reason, when chaperoning their drives, frequently expose them to novel places.

Practice driving on rural dirt roads as well as cramped and busy urban streets. When they’re ready, take them onto the highway. This will help their knowledge generalize well and prevent them from running into a situation they’re unprepared for.

Talk Through What They Would Do

Try to think through what you found hard when you were learning to drive. Ask your child about some difficult scenarios, such as what to do when you get a flat tire or how to drive in inclement weather.

You can draw pictures to visualize how they would react or maneuver their car in these situations.

Limit Distractions

So many people have divided focus, and that’s especially true for teenagers. To help them focus well on driving so they learn the skill more effectively, eliminate their use of their cell phone, radio and other music, and perhaps even car conversations.

If they were to have a bad experience while distracted, their confidence would falter, so limiting distractions can help prevent this.

Even Out Praise and Criticism

It’s always important to give constructive feedback. There are many occasions for this when your teen is learning the fine details of driving, but strive to even out praise and criticism. As you teach them, your feedback is as essential as your ability to be a teacher they trust and feel believes in them.

For this reason, as they first learn, call out the new tasks they master, like starting the car and backing out of the driveway. Then, when you do have serious criticism of their driving, they won’t just have your negative words in their head.

Limit How Long You Practice

Another — perhaps counter-intuitive – way to improve your teen’s driving confidence is to limit how long you drive each day. If they’re not confident, the last thing you want to do is exhaust them by driving for more than an hour. Long sessions increase the likelihood of mistakes, which would lower their confidence even more. Take them out, have them accomplish something new, and return without a scratch.

other valuable tips:

Enroll Them in Driving School

It’s also beneficial for them to take driving classes. When enrolled, they benefit from the knowledge someone else can bring. And if you have a difficult relationship as teacher and student, perhaps giving them a new teacher can help build their confidence back up so they can learn everything they need to stay safe.

Image Credit: teen driving confidence by Pixabay

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