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Helping Your Child to Learn to Drive

February 15, 2024

February 15, 2024

Learning to drive is an essential life skill, and a crucial step towards adulthood for most teenagers. Offering invaluable independence and freedom, being able to drive opens a myriad of opportunities for work, education, and social activities. However, as a parent, you may find the process of teaching your child to drive intimidating, particularly given their precious cargo. Luckily, there are several ways to make the process less daunting for both you and your child whilst being mindful of your family budget.

Essential Preparations

Before you can start your driving lessons, there are a few things you would need to arrange. First, you need to ensure your child has a valid provisional license. Next, check that your insurance company covers your child if they will be driving your vehicle. It’s also crucial to find a way to quickly and easily compare car insurance to get the most favorable deal. Look for companies with specialist learner driver insurance to help you save money while giving you peace of mind. Remember to factor in the type of car you are insuring. Lower engine-size vehicles are likely to attract lower insurance premiums.

Encourage Theory Study

Your child learning the Highway Code and having a solid understanding of it before getting behind the wheel can make teaching them to drive much easier. Encouraging theory study is integral and can be as simple as helping them revise for their theory tests, giving mock examinations, or discussing road signs and road rules while on the road with them. There are plenty of online apps, educational websites and revision guides available to assist you with this.

Demonstrate Good Driving Practice

Children, regardless of their age, learn much from observing their parents. As such, it’s key that you demonstrate good driving practice at all times. Explain your driving decisions and be patient when answering their questions. Remember too that, as a parent, you are responsible for nurturing their driving habits and attitudes on the road. Consistently demonstrating respectful, mood-free, and attentive driving behaviour makes a significant difference.

Consider Professional Lessons

When it comes to driving instruction, having a blend of parent-taught and professionally-taught lessons can be beneficial. Professional driving instructors are trained in teaching driving skills and have the experience needed for handling a range of driving situations. While they can assist in perfecting the technical skills, you can help your child in gaining experience and boosting their confidence. Also, familiarising your child with the process of the driving test can be extremely helpful.

Practical Guidance

When you start to teach your child to drive, it’s worth remembering to be patient. Start with basic controls in a quiet area with little traffic before gradually increasing the difficulty. Use dual controls if possible and remember that it’s as much about building their confidence as it is about developing their skills. Encourage plenty of practice, both in differing road conditions and at different times, whilst adhering to the necessary safety measures.

Emphasise Safety

Despite the emphasis on skills and proficiency, it’s important to stress safe driving practices. Regularly discuss hazard perception, condition-based driving, emergency vehicle detection, and defensive driving tactics to ensure your child is ready for real-world driving.

Plan Economic Driving

Fuel-efficient driving is not only good for the environment; it can also help to reduce the operation costs of a car. When your child gets a car of their own, cost-saving driving techniques can take some pressure off the family budget. These include anticipatory driving, maintaining a steady speed, and minimizing fuel consumption.

Teaching your child to drive is a significant milestone in their life and yours. It’s a tricky balance to strike, taking on the dual role of parent and instructor but, by following these guidelines, you can help your child become a confident and safe driver. Remember, the aim is not only to get them to pass the test but also to drive safely for the rest of their lives.

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