Teaching Driver Education:
The Parent’s Guide
Research shows that teens who use the parent taught Texas drivers ed method are less likely to be involved in fatal accidents or break the law, when their parents were a part of their driver education training, vs a traditional driving school.
Parents who are involved in their teens training can impart wisdom from personal experiences and share personal annecdotes that often have a profound impact on the way they perceive the responsibility that comes with driving.
Discuss Safe Driving Practices
Verbal communication is important, especially in the beginning. You may simply want to start off by having them drive slowly and keep the vehicle with the visible traffic stripes on the road. It’s important to remember during this time, that your teen will be observing your own driving habits in order to better understand how to drive and handle situations.
Demonstrate Safe Driving Techniques
The easiest way to teach is to demonstrate a driving objective to your teen. Discuss the decision making process with them. For example: “I’m going to pull over ahead, so I’m going to flash my indicator before I slow down,” or “The driver ahead is slowing down so I will maintain a proper safe distance.”
Be sure to point out any accessories accessories used. “This is the indicator switch. I need to pull it downward to get my left indicator light flashing to signal my intention to turn to the driver behind me,” or “When slowing down, this is the proper method to shift gears.”
Be sure and cover the rules of the road and traffic signs illustrated in the Texas drivers handbook and the car owner’s manual. Reinforce the importance of distraction-free driving and maintaining focus and control at all times. This is especially true of using cellphones while driving.
Point out road hazards and the appropriate reactions. For example: If an animal darts out on to the road, how to react if your car suddenly skids off the road. This where your experience as seasoned driver will benefit your teen student the most.
Locate a Safe Place to Drive with Minimal Traffic
As you begin the behind-the-wheel driver training with your teen student, it’s normal to feel some anxiety. Locate a safe area with the least amount of traffic and distractions. Streets on the outskirts of town, such as roads that come to a dead-end, tend to have little traffic.
Teach your student the basics of driving: how to adjust the seat and mirrors, where the controls are, how to start the vehicle, etc.
Practice basic controls: How to change gears (if it is a manual transmission), how to accelerate and decelerate safely, how to reverse, how to park without hitting the curb or another car.
As your student demonstrates proficiency in the driving objectives from the Behind The Wheel log sheet, allow them more driving flexibility into areas of light traffic. Offer to let them drive you to the store or for minor errands.