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.