How will I know when my Teen is really ready to get their license?

Teaching someone to drive is more than just memorizing rules and regulations. It’s also more than just the act of driving. Sure, your teen can get a license if they know these two things BUT it doesn’t mean they should!

I’m sure as a parent you realize that driving is a skill that is very complex and has life or death consequences. It’s also a skill that becomes so routine, familiar and comfortable for many adult drivers that they forget to take it seriously.

My time as a crash investigator taught me to take driving very seriously. It helped me understand a lot about the patterns of how car crashes tend to happen. It inspired me to try to think of ways that those tragedies could be prevented, because in my work as a crash analysis I saw a lot of crashes that didn’t have to happen.

It is possible for teenagers to become competent, well-trained safe drivers. They do NOT have to crash at the rates that have been considered normal for over 60 years.

Helping your teen with common sense and a respectful attitude toward driving is key to crash-proofing your teen.

For my own children, when they were learning to drive, our family rule was not that you can get your license when you turn 16 or finish the course. We enforced the rule of 30. The rule of 30 meant that if my son or daughter made any mistake when driving the car during the permit phase of training, they had to wait another 30 days before taking their driver test.

If you, as a parent, cannot calmly drink a cup of coffee and relax in the front passenger seat while your teen is driving, then your son or daughter is not ready to get their license and drive alone!

As a parent it is your choice to decide when your teen is ready to get their license. It’s not your child’s choice, it’s not the government’s choice, there rules are only guidelines. It is you, the person that probably cares more about your child’s well being than anyone on the planet. Go with your gut you won’t ever regret it.




  • Aditi Singh August 3, 2017

    Great post. I’m so thankful I read this. It is going to make this very difficult when we reach this point. 🙂 But I will follow my instincts.

    • Jayne Ubl August 3, 2017

      Thanks for your comments and for supporting smarter drivers, safer roads. It might be difficult to say “no, you’re not ready” to your teen, but if they aren’t ready the consequences can be “deadly”. So stay strong and know its the right thing to do.
      Parent can be hard!

  • Leah August 3, 2017

    I love the idea of the 30. It would totally have kept me on my toes!
    Driving takes maturity, and I think parents can know on a case by case basis whether or not their kids are ready for that kind of responsibility. I didn’t get my license until I was 17, but that had more to do with how much I HATED THE CLASSES. (Ugh, they were so, so horrible. Introverts beware!)

    Great post! Love reading a fresh new topic.

    • Jayne Ubl August 3, 2017

      Thanks Leah for being so honest- we have heard that lots of teens HATE their driver ed classes. We do our best to take out the BORING and add some RESPECT for the teachers, the students and most importantly the TOPIC.

  • Dianna August 3, 2017

    We had our first teen driver last fall and it certainly upped our game for ourselves to be more mindful drivers & less distracting passengers. I thought I might NEVER quite get to the “relaxed” stage you mentioned, then one day it finally happened. My son noticed it first & we both got a good chuckle over it. At that moment, I had a sense of release that he WAS ready. It helped his confidence, too!

    • Jayne Ubl August 5, 2017

      Thanks for sharing your story Dianna. We think that parents who the most important factor in whether or not a teen becomes a good driver.
      A parent who is concerned and involved in this process and are interested in teaching their teen to become a smarter, safer driver is key to their success.
      We are just here to help!

  • Ayanna @ 21FlavorsofSplendor August 3, 2017

    Great post!! Making sure our kids are ready for the big responsibility driving is is so important. I love the rule of 30 and will have to remember that when my girls get older.

    • Jayne Ubl August 5, 2017

      Thanks for your comment! We appreciate your support of smarter drivers, safer roads!

  • april bogle November 3, 2019

    Great Post – might save a marriage! A parent “drinking a cup of coffee in the front passenger seat, relaxing”, had me sputtering my morning coffee out, laughing! Great thoughts for a BIG go-around with my husband with our newest teen/15 yr old permit birthday debate.

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