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Supervising Your Teen Driver

One way you can actively help your teen become a safe, responsible driver is by providing opportunities for practice. You’re the coach, building your teen’s skills and confidence on the road. It’s a role that requires time, patience and understanding. Calm, positive feedback is the most instructive.

Practice Makes Perfect

Experience is vital to good driving. It can take five years or more to become a truly well-rounded driver. Your teen needs to commit to several hours of driving practice—and to accept the instruction that comes with it.

    • Expose your teen to a variety of conditions, beginning in a parking lot or on residential streets.
    • Work up to highway driving.
    • Begin with daytime driving before progressing to nighttime road practice.
    • Try to get out at least a couple of times a week.

It’s up to you to decide how quickly your teen moves on to new conditions. Take their opinion into account—but as the more experienced driver, you’ll know what they’re ready for. Teens sometimes want to progress more quickly than they’re ready.

CAA has tips on conducting practice driving sessions here.

Model good behaviour

Sometimes ‘practice’ can mean actively observing other drivers in action. When you’re behind the wheel with your teen as a passenger:

    • Talk about what you’re doing, looking at and thinking about as you drive.
    • Talk about road signs, pedestrians and other vehicles—and any adjustments you make as a result.
    • Set a good example by following safe driving practices.

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