This year, 65,000 teens in Colorado will turn 15, making them eligible to obtain their learner’s permits. If you’re like most parents, you understand what a major milestone it is to sit behind the wheel of a car for the first time. The rush of taking over the driver’s seat, starting the engine, and navigating down the road is something that anyone who has had the experience vividly remembers.
That being said, it’s normal to feel just as nervous as excited for your teen to start driving. After all, driving is a big responsibility, and learning how to do it properly is what helps keep all parties safe on the road. The key to ensuring that new drivers become safe and cautious motorists is taking the time to properly prepare them for the task.
If you’re the parent of a teenager who is turning 15 this year, these eight useful tips will help you better prepare your teen for the exciting goal of learning how to drive:
Thoroughly Research Driving Schools in Colorado
The driving school you choose will be responsible for equipping your teen with a lifelong skill-set. Because there are options, it’s important to do your research until you find one that you feel is the best driving school in Colorado. Be sure to choose an organization that has the expertise and the caring touch to meet every one of your expectations.
When you do find a company you’re interested in, talk to one of the representatives about the company’s mission, inquire about how the company hires and trains the instructors, and educate yourself on the school’s background and longevity. While the cost is always a discussion point, the most important factor is that you feel confident your teen will be safe and successful when utilizing the school’s program. At the end of the day, peace of mind is truly priceless.
Have Your Teen Research Colorado Driving Laws and Training Requirements
Before fully diving into a driver’s education plan, give your teen the job of finding out about obtaining a permit in Colorado. This is a good step toward greater responsibility, and it’s also a solid tactic to help introduce the laws and requirements that all new drivers will eventually need to memorize and understand on their own.
Acknowledge the Responsibility Required
Talk to your teen about the fact that driving is a “privilege” and not a “right.” It’s extremely important to emphasize the weight of responsibility that carrying a driver’s license comes with. While you don’t want to scare your teen, you do want to clearly convey that driving is something to take seriously.
Explaining why it’s such an honored privilege, along with talking through the potential consequences of irresponsible driving, will assist your teen in making mature, sensible decisions on the road. This will help enhance safety while driving, and it will also help keep your car intact. Remember, your teen will be covered by your insurance while carrying a learner’s permit.
Set a Good Example While Driving
As teens get ready to learn how to drive, they suddenly become much more interested in observing how their parents drive. This is an excellent opportunity to showcase how a skilled driver operates, so do all you can to be a safer and more cautious driver.
Follow the speed limit. Stop fully at stop signs. Use a hands-free device or, better yet, don’t talk on the phone while driving at all. These tips may sound simple, but you’ll most likely be surprised how many rules you bend yourself. As you become more aware of how your actions influence your teen, you may find that you end up fine-tuning your own driving habits.
In order to stress the importance of being responsible and mature while driving, it helps to require that maturity to apply to other areas in life. You can instruct that your teen maintain a certain grade point average as well as participate as a more adult member of the family in general. To help your teen start thinking as more of an adult, be sure to enforce the consequences when commitments are not met.
Involve Your Teen in Preparing for the Cost of Driving
Talk to your teen about the costs of vehicle ownership, including maintenance, insurance, and gas. If you truly want to instill a deep sense of responsibility, develop a plan for how he/she will pay for the use of the family car.
Set Ground Rules for Driving with Friends
Peer passengers are one of the biggest sources of distracted driving in accidents involving teen drivers. Teenage drivers are more likely to become sidetracked as well as engage in risky behavior with multiple friends in the car, which is why you want to establish clear rules with your teen about driving with friends.
Colorado’s Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) Laws, which restrict the number of passengers for newly licensed drivers, save lives. To keep safety a priority, be sure to have your teen adhere to the laws, both as a driver and as a passenger.
Prepare Yourself for Driving with Your Teen
Teenagers and parents are known to be a quarrelsome combination. Try your best to leave family tension out of the car. What you consider “teaching,” your teen may consider “yelling.”
If your teen feels like you are being harsh or overly critical with your instructions, he/she is going to have trouble retaining the information. Start slowly, be patient, and trust that with proper training and abundant practice, your teen will acquire the skills necessary to become a safe and cautious driver.
DriveSafe Is Colorado’s Largest and Most Trusted Driving School
Learning to drive is a pivotal point in any person’s life, as it sets the stage for enhanced freedom and greater responsibility. This is why it’s so important to take all of the steps necessary to properly guide your teen into the driver’s seat, including carefully choosing a credible driving school.
With over 20 years of experience, DriveSafe has proudly trained over 75,000 student drivers throughout our 10 locations in the Denver Metro area. Our passion for driver safety is what makes us the most trusted driving school in the state.
If you’re interested in reviewing the different ways we can help your teen succeed in becoming a safe and responsible driver, please review our drivers education options online.
You can also reach out to us at any time through our website or by calling us at 303-721-8881.