DCH Auto Group's Teen Safe Driving Program has many tips on how to keep teens safe on the roads once they already have their license, but we found these great tips on how to prepare them for taking their driving tests and getting them ready for their Learner's Permit. These are steps any parent can take, whether you live in NJ, NY, CT or CA to help keep your teens stay safe before and after they start driving on their own!
Each state has different requirements for teen drivers wishing to test for a driver’s permit. Most states require teens to take a state approved driver’s training course offered through a public school or private driver’s training program. Once teens pass the class and reach the appropriate age for their permit, they need to study in order to prepare for the test. Each state has its own study materials for testing, but using some basic steps will help your teen get ready for the examination.
Gather Driver's License Study Materials
The first step in helping your teen prepare for his or her learner's permit exam is to gather some study materials. Download a copy of your state’s driver’s license testing study guide. These are available from your secretary of state’s website, from your state’s department of motor vehicles website or from websites specializing in driver's license study guides and practice tests. Once you've gotten the necessary materials, you're ready to start helping your child prepare for the test.
Study for the Driver's Permit Test
Study the different types of traffic control signs with your teen by holding up pictures of the signs. Have him or her tell you what the sign is and what it means to a driver. These include regulation signs, warning signs, destination signs and informational signs. Learn about intersections and turns by taking your teen out for driving practice. Focus on right of way, what to do when an emergency vehicle is present, the differences between blue, green and amber lights, and different types of turns. Also ask questions like "What would you do if..." to help him or her prepare for test questions about different rights of way, light colors and emergency vehicle situations. Review the rules of passing by saying the rule and having him or her tell you when he or she would use the different types of passes. These include passing on the right, passing on the left, passing a school bus and what to do when you are being passed. Go over parking rules, including how to park, parking on a hill, pulling out and regulations about parking by practicing with your teen driver in a large parking lot. Talk about the rule first and then practice each skill several times to be sure your teen is confident.
Safe Driving Practices
One of the best ways to enhance your teen's preparation for the driver's permit test is by talking often about safe driving practices. Discuss defensive driving, what to do if you have an accident, what happens if you drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, sharing the road and dangerous road conditions. Give him or her a situation where each of these items is a problem and have him or her give you a solution based on a driving rule or a safe driving tip. Have your teen take driver’s license permit practice tests available on line from your department of motor vehicles, secretary of state or other free website testing service. Go over the answers with him or her after he or she takes the test. Talk about the questions he or she got wrong and what the right answer should be.
After the Test
Once your teen takes and passes the driver's license permit test, the best way to help him become a good driver is to let him drive. Parents often hesitate but driving with you in the car is the only way to make sure he or she gets the practice he or she needs in a safe environment. Many states now require a certain number of driving hours before a teen can apply for a driver's license. Getting these hours in a reasonable amount of time lets your teen practice what he or she's learned and stays fresh. Also, the more practice during different driving conditions (nighttime, rain, wind), the better prepared your teen will be for real driving conditions.
Driving is a big responsibility and one more step toward adulthood. Taking the journey with your teen and helping him or her become the most confident driver he or she can be is the best way to keep him or her safe on the road.