How to know when teens are ready to drive solo
Is your teen truly ready to drive solo? The answer isn’t always, “Yes.” So, your teenager completed the required driver’s ed class and his in-car driving lessons. While most teens are then ready to drive solo after passing the Georgia road test, there are exceptions. Below are Drive Smart Georgia’s tips to know when teens are ready to drive solo.
Readiness is key
There honestly is not “one answer fits all.” If your teen has taken in-car lessons with a pro and practiced with mom or dad, the answer might be “absolutely!” However, many teens need even more practice, so the answer could be a definite, “Nope.”
At Drive Smart Georgia, we see it all the time. A new driver goes through the entire learning process with us, but he or she is still not ready to take the road test. In other words, students sometimes get stuck in neutral. The good news is that it’s common and there’s an easy fix. So, as a concerned parent, what can you do to help your teen become a more self-assured, safe driver?
Yes, your teen is 100% ready to drive solo
Your new driver is confident and cautious. He passed driver’s ed with flying colors and received “green lights” from his in-car driving instructors. Is he ready to pass the road test to get a driver’s license? Yes. But…
After he gets that coveted license, be sure to keep an eye on him. Of all our teen driver tips, this is the most important. Overly confident drivers are not always the most cautious.
Boys tend to fall in this category of new drivers. This confidence plus newfound freedom can add up to a recipe for disaster. According to the Centers for Disease Control, teens are three times more likely to crash during their first year of driving.
What’s next for green light drivers?
It’s OK to hand your confident teen driver the keys but be sure to keep an eye on him and his driving habits. Insist that he checks in with you after arriving at his destination. Talk to your teen about the dangers of taking unnecessary risks. Set rules and consequences for violating those rules. Continue to review teen driver tips and safety precautions.
On the other hand, your new driver may be confident AND cautious. This is a great combination. Your child is 100% ready for a driver’s license. But remember, he or she is a NEW and inexperienced driver.
Don’t hand over the keys and think your job is done. Parental involvement and supervision are the keys to keeping your new driver safe on the road. According to Safe Kids, “Driver inexperience is the #1 cause for teen crashes, closely followed by night/drowsy driving, speeding/racing, distractions, low seat belt use and impaired driving.”
Your teen is NOT ready to drive solo
So, your teen completed driver’s education, in-car lessons, and has driven with you a ton. That means he or she is ready for a driver’s license, right? Not all teens are fully prepared at this point. They may need extra practice or are fearful of the road test.
If this is the case, then wait. There is no need to rush it, especially if your teen is sending you signals that he isn’t ready. So, what can you do to help your teen become a more confident, safe driver? Practice, practice, practice!
What’s next for red light drivers?
We know that it may not be your favorite thing, but riding in the car with your teen is essential to develop lifelong good driving habits. Start by following our teen driver safety tips.
Then, loosen the death grip and go for a spin with your new driver. Don’t gasp at every stop or turn. Don’t repeat “Slow down!” ten times during your ride around the neighborhood. Don’t close your eyes and “do” a squinty face during lane changes.
If you get sweaty palms just thinking about teaching your teen how to drive, have no fear. Drive Smart Georgia’s professional, AAA-approved instructors are the best in Atlanta. Plus, our fleet of vehicles come equipped with an extra brake and accelerator on the instructor’s side – just in case. Our in-car lessons start at $175 and become available in the fall and winter for students who need them.
Yes, it’s hard to do because all new drivers are inexperienced ones. However, with practice and patience, they will become more confident and ultimately safer drivers on the road.
How to help your teen become ready to drive solo
In addition to previously mentioned tips, it’s also helpful to practice road test techniques; like parallel parking, turnabout, and straight-line backing. Because Drive Smart Georgia has the largest practice facility in the city, there’s always room to work on these essential skills at one of our three locations.
Sundays are especially good because we don’t conduct on-site road tests that day. Our customers are always welcome to use our practice facility as long as a student is not on the course during an active lesson.
Is your teen stuck in neutral?
When your new driver gets stuck in neutral, simply shift into practice and patience mode. It will go a long way to building his long-term self-confidence and a lifelong safe driver.
So, is your teen ready for a driver’s license? Parents can discover the answer by staying involved after he passes the test and gets that coveted Georgia driver’s license.
For tips on passing the driving test in Georgia, be sure to check out this article.
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