Coaching Tips for Learner Drivers

Practice makes perfect

Go for a drive with your young driver at least 30 minutes each week for the first full year after he or she passes the driving test and gets a full driving license.

Be Patient and Encouraging

Turn each drive into a learning experience. Give advice calmly and gently. Be honest and sincere when you encourage. Invite your teenager to analyse his or her skills too.

Lead by example

Your teenager learns from you – especially when you are behind the wheel. Drive the way you want your teen to drive. If your teen catches you making a mistake, admit it. Show your teenager that it is never too late to start doing the right thing.

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Make Safety Part of your Community

For 17, 18 and 19 year olds, the risk of death increases 40% with one teenage passenger, doubles with two teenage passengers and quadruples with three or more teenage passengers. Encourage parents of teenagers in your community to also set appropriate driving rules to make sure you teenager is safer as a passenger.

Empower Teenagers to Speak UP

Discourage risky behaviour as a driver or passenger. Emphasise that everyone in the car is responsible for safe driving. Reinforce the importance of speaking up in dangerous situations.

Review the Rules of the Road

Know the rules of the road. These rules help new drivers get on-the-road experience under lower-risk situations. View the rules of the road as minimum standards for establishing family rules.

Make it Official

Establish family rules about when, where, how and with whom your teen may drive. Work with your teenager to set consequences for breaking the rules. Create a Parent-Teenager Agreement. Review your teenager’s progress every three months.

Seat Belts

Make sure your young driver always fastens his or her seatbelt and checks to make sure that passengers do too. Teenagers are least likely to wear seat belts. Most teenagers killed in car accidents are not wearing safety belts.

Passenger Maintenance

Watch how your teenager focuses on driving with family in the car. Passengers, and the distractions the represent, can be deadly. The propensity to crash increases with even one teenage passenger. Consider allowing no teenage passengers for the first six months of driving after passing the driving test.

Speed Management

Observe how your teenager manages speed and determine if he or she sees and responds to speed limit signs. Point out how to adjust speed to the situation. Weather, traffic, hazards and experience factor into a safe driving speed.

Scanning the road ahead

Encourage your teenager to regularly look far down the road, then closer in and then through mirrors. Teach your teenager to identify and avoid potentially reckless drivers and hazards on the road.

Keeping their Distance

Encourage your teenager to keep a minimum three-second distance between his or her car and the car in front. Instruct them to watch the rear bumper of the car in front pass an object. Then ask him to count out loud for three to four seconds before his or her car passes the same object.

Night Driving

Watch how your teenager adjusts to night driving. Fatal crashes are more likely at night than during the day. Continue to practice with your teenager and consider banning unsupervised night driving for the first six months of licenses driving.

Mobile Phone Management

Be sure your teenager routinely turns off and puts away any mobile phone before starting the car. If your teenager needs to make a call, he or she should pull over and stop for the duration of the call.

Avoiding Distractions

Encourage your teenager to fully concentrate on driving. Ask him or her to avoid activities that take the focus off the road, including eating, drinking, reaching for an object, reading billboards or adjusting/programming electronics.

Coaching Tips Learner Drivers