GeT A VieW froM THe CoPiLoT’s seAT
Those mailboxes aren’t quite as close as they seem. But, if you’re usually the driver, it couldlook as though your teen driver is about to runthem over.Remember, the road looks very different fromthe passenger side. Take a ride in the passenger’sseat before experiencing it for the first timewith your new driver. This way, you can havea better feel for how the road looks from thepassenger’s point of view, and you’ll have oneless surprise when your teen takes the wheel.For example, it can be difficult to tell fromthe passenger seat if the vehicle is centered inits lane if you usually see the road from thedriver’s seat.
ACT As THe “NeW DriVer”
You play the “new driver” with an experienceddriver giving instructions. You might findbeing told to “turn left,” “turn right,” “stophere,” or “pull in there” can be awkward—anddownright annoying! This experience can help you understand what the new driver hearsand how they may feel once your practicesessions begin.
It’s important to stay alert. This probably won’tbe a problem, since it is a fortunate parent/guardian indeed who can relax while theirteenager is driving. Remember, the minute youstart to relax can be the minute your teen needs your help. Be comfortable, but be alert.
reMeMber Your GoAL
Make sure you realize that only so much canbe taught about driving in a limited amountof time. But, practicing with your teen can pay off in the years to come. By practicing, youcan help them make decisions and judgmentsrather than rely on trial—and quite possibly—error.
firsT PrACTiCe sessioNs
Try to practice as often as possible, first withsessions of 15-20 minutes. Increase to practiceperiods lasting an hour, or so, during daylighthours and then at night and during poorweather conditions. Try to remember to takeadvantage of the opportunity to practice every time you get into the vehicle with your newdriver. Take a break, if either you or your teenbecomes tired or frustrated. Driving will notimprove under tense conditions. It’s all part of staying cool behind the wheel!
sTArT iN A PArkiNG LoT
Empty parking lots are a great place to see if your teen can drive in a straight line forwardand backward, start up and drive a shortdistance, and stop the vehicle smoothly.Test your teen’s ability to turn the wheel andaccelerate. Decide on a point in the parking lotto turn right. Make sure they turn without firstdrifting to the left or cutting the corner. Make aleft turn the same way. Then try making a rightor left turn after coming to a complete stop.
STAYINg COOL AS A COPILOT
start in the right frame of mind
b y gn
StartStopLet turnrom stopRight turnrom stop
Teachin Yo Teen to Die