How to Teach Your Child to Drive
In this section of Teen Driver Source, families will find resources to support the supervised driving (or learner's permit) stage of licensure, where parents teach driving skills to teenagers. We hope to empower parents and teens to make the most of supervised driving practice and to view this challenging time as a rewarding experience for both.
It’s exciting that a new member of the family is ready to learn how to drive. We at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia know that both teens and parents want trusted guidance about how to teach a child to drive. That’s why we gathered the best information from clinicians, researchers, driving instructors, teenagers, educators, and others to help you navigate the learning-to-drive process and beyond.
As a parent, it can be hard to give up the wheel and move to the passenger seat, but a new driver’s safest time behind the wheel is with you or another trusted adult closely supervising. The least safe? The first 6 to 12 months after a teen receives a provisional license and drives alone.The more time and thought invested in practice driving, the more skill and experience a teen will take into independent driving.
As a youth on the verge of adulthood and becoming independent, it can be hard to be so dependent on a parent’s focused attention to get the critical supervised driving practice accomplished. Remember you both have shared goals:
- a newly licensed driver in the family
- a driver who is prepared to avoid crashing when driving on one’s own
Every teen and every family is unique. This is no different when it comes to driving. Every family has its own goals, challenges and timeline. There is no one set path. However, all families must be prepared to adjust and adapt their busy schedules to make time for intentional practice driving sessions.