In the thousands of driving lessons we have conducted over the years there are some really common initial mistakes that parents tend to make when getting in the car for the first time with their Teenage Learner;
1. Parents forget to start with the basics
Setting up your learners seating position is paramount, this enables correct posture so that there is less fatigue, and enables your Learners to maximise their vision by teaching them about blind spots, mirror and shoulder checks. Once their seat is set up correctly they will have better control of their steering control which requires a lot of attention in the early days. These are habits they will take with them in all of their future safe driving.
2. Parents yelling at or arguing with their Teen Learner
As we all know teenagers are experts at everything, including learning to drive. This creates all sorts of arguments with your budding new driver. Which in turn create further fears and anxiety of both the Learner and the Parent or Supervisor. Set the scene so they know that they know the rules and expectations from you around communicating in the car. Ensure you book a driving lesson or two with your preferred driving school to ensure that the style of communicating and expectations are reinforced by a professional (and non-family member). Parents often have expectations of their Learner based on how they have conducted themselves at school or with sports and are often confused, disappointed or frustrated when their Teen doesn’t react or understand the way that they have assumed their Teen Learner would. This leads us onto mistake number 3.
3. Parents not planning the drives
Given this is a massive coordination effort for most teens to learn to look ahead and utilize mirrors, whilst steering and managing their pedal control – it’s like rubbing your tummy, tapping your head and hopping on one foot, but in a killing machine! Parents tend to jump in the car with an idea to drive ‘somewhere’ but without the detailed planning of ‘lefts’ and ‘rights’ that their Learner will need to plan for their braking, accelerating, indicating and observation. The more notice and time you given them, the more they will be able to process and plan, therefore causing less confusion and frustration for all parties!