Are you committed to coaching in different driving conditions and at different times of the day? It’s best to start off in basic low-risk situations and gradually move to more complex situations, such as highways and driving in the rain.
Are you patient enough to provide constructive feedback? There may be times when you want to yell, but remind yourself to remain calm, patient and positive and talk through the driving choices your teen makes. When necessary, agree to take a breather and work it out.
Are you a good role model? Your teen has been watching you drive for years, but you might want to step up your driving game now. Always wear your safety belt, obey traffic laws, never talk or text on the phone while driving, don’t speed—the list goes on and on, but remember, lead by example. Consider taking a driver refresher class.
Stay in contact with your students driver education instructor during the driver education class.
This can help you keep abreast of his/her progress. Riding along with your student and the instructor can also provide good insight on the teaching process and allow you to get comfortable with your student driving.
AAA’s recommendations for being a good driving coach:
Practice with your teen. Plan for as much supervised practice behind the wheel as possible. It’s the key to helping your teen develop skills to become a safe driver.
Select a goal for each session. For example, you may want your teen to focus on identifying potential hazards ahead or accelerating and braking smoothly.
Take regular breaks. Stop every 20 minutes or so and review the past few minutes of driving to help your teen process the experience. If your teen did something dangerous behind the wheel, explain why and discuss potential consequences.