Many proud moments come with being the parent of teenagers. Athletic events, recitals, grades, class projects and even the simple act of watching your child become an adult all can make your heart swell as you realize that your once little person is now growing up. Another proud moment for many parents is the one when they finally take the passenger’s seat in their car and hand the keys to their child. It’s a rite of passage that can only be experienced once, and it’s a big moment for both parents and teens—one that establishes a higher level of responsibility for the new driver.
Because of that responsibility, which includes themselves, their passengers, other drivers and the automobile, it is important that teens be properly prepared to take the road. Yes, as a parent you will do so much to help your teen learn the basic mechanics of driving, but it’s also a good idea to allow your student to take part in a driver’s education course that prepares them for both the mental and physical challenges of taking the wheel. While not every state requires formal driver’s education courses before issuing licenses, they can still be a valuable tool that helps teens become the safe drivers that they need to be both for their sake and that of others.
In live driver’s education courses (as opposed to online), new drivers are taught how to handle many different road situations—some normal and some unique—under the care of trained professionals. Through hands-on experience, they are given the training that is necessary to prepare them for real road encounters. This kind of experience has proven far more effective than simply reading a handbook or computer screen. Plus, we have to say it. Under the unbiased eyes of a neutral teacher, there is less pressure on a teen than if Mom or Dad is giving direction at their side, which can make it easier and more enjoyable for them to learn. Thus, when you do drive together, there will be greater ease for both you and your child.
Through driver’s education, students are taught everything from the basics of reading road signs and obeying traffic laws to the complicated matters of accident prevention and defensive driving. Good instructors will also teach them the basic functions of automobiles and standard procedures that are involved in operating a car. Because the program is specifically designed for the purpose of creating skillful drivers, the instructors are there to make sure that all the bases are covered.
As a parent, you want what’s best for your child. And, while they may not be so little anymore, you want to do whatever you can to protect them. At Waterloo Automotive, we want to help you do just that. Our job is to help keep their vehicles running as you help steer them in the right direction—hopefully to a thrilling day when they finally receive their official license. This summer, consider adding driver’s education to that path, even if it isn’t required by law. Not only will it help prepare your teen for a safer life on the road, it will also give you more peace of mind knowing they’ve been educated as far as possible and are ready to hit the road.