We have noticed that while some parents are very eager to start practicing with their teen. Other parents are not as enthusiastic about the thought of being strapped in the passenger seat, with their teen at the wheel. Many teens are not getting the practice they need to be safe. Either way, I wanted to answer some of the FAQ’s I get regarding practicing. Along with some incentives to make sure your teen is getting the best driver education possible!!
Q. How often should I be practicing with my teen?
A. The law requires that a minor get 50 hours of practice with an adult 25 or older who is a CA licensed driver. 10 of those hours should be at night. This does not necessarily mean only Mom or Dad. Grandparents, other relatives, family friends, and even your teens friends parents are other good options. Drive as frequently as possible!!
Q. What should I be practicing with my teen?
A. It is important that a student driver get practice in lots of different types of traffic, and new places. Sometimes it is hard to tell what to look for. For the most part, new drivers can appear confident, and most of the time, make good decisions as the driver. Next thing you know, he/she makes a bone head maneuver, that caught you off guard. This can be very scary for the students practice buddy. This is where your experience comes into play #1 Remain calm!!! A panicked driver will do even stranger things… #2 Find a safe area and pull over to discuss what happened and what they should have done. I carry a white board, to illustrate my words. “Right of way” and “blind spot” are just terms until it’s time to find out first hand what those terms actually mean. If you need to be somewhere at a particular time, leave at least 10 minutes early!!!
Q. My teen does not want to practice, what do I do?
A. Don’t get angry. They are simply anxious about what you will think. #1. Remind them that you are under legal obligation to make sure they practice. Offer to drive out of the neighborhood, then switch. Start with shorter, more familiar drives. Often the hardest part is starting. Once they get going, most of the anxiety will disappear. Tell your teen that if they have enough, or want to stop, they can. Breathing is key, if you notice your teen breathing fast or sweating. Ask them if they are okay. People also hold their breath when they are frightened, remind them to breathe too, oxygen will help their brain function better. #2. I have also heard that bribery works…teens love a drive-thru!
Q. Can their be passengers in the vehicle?
A. Yes. As long as the “practice buddy” is in the passenger seat, your teen can drive siblings, or their teammates home after practice. Remember that your teen will feel more pressure to drive well in front of others. Make sure you feel that your teen is ready to handle some distractions, and added stress while driving before attempting passengers. I suggest talking with siblings about letting the driver concentrate, and keeping quiet if a mistake is made
Q. It has been a long time since I learned to drive. How do I know if I am teaching my teen correctly?
A. Ask the instructor! We are happy to answer you questions, and can usually pop in for a few minutes at the end of the lesson to discuss your Teen. We also would like to offer a licensed driver brush-up for practice buddies. This is a private one hour evaluation and brush up on your existing skills. This can eliminate arguments over ‘the right way’ to do something.
Having a private lesson is a great time to discuss any concerns you are having with your teen’s instructor. I myself did not take professional driving lessons until I became an instructor. I was amazed by who much I thought I knew… This class would be extremely valuable to anyone who enjoys being ‘right’ all the time Ask about our one hour brush up lesson for $55.00.
Q. I think my teen might need additional lessons… Can I get a price break on a second set?
A. We set up our lesson format to be very flexible. There are 12 and 18 hour packages available, or you may do lessons a la carte, as needed. For the holidays, we decided to offer a special promotion to students who could benefit from some additional training. After your student has completed their first six hours on instruction, and you purchase an additional six hour package for $300.00, we will use the last lesson as the drive test! This is a $60.00 savings!
Regular Price Break down:
Lesson #5 $80.00
Lesson #6 $80.00
Lesson #7 $80.00
Drive test $120.00 (includes one hour warm up, test in our car, unlimited time at DMV for processing, ride home
At Drive Happy our goal is not to be the largest driving school. We simply want to be the best. We are very proud of what we do. My favorite part of teaching is seeing the students ‘light bulb’ switch on, and suddenly everything make sense. I really enjoy building pride and confidence in my students. People often overlook the importance of driving safely. We focus so much on work, school, and family…that we forget how we get to work, school, and family. We drive, everyday. We all share the same roads, and all share the right to be safe. Let’s work together, and Drive Happy!!