We live in an exciting era!  Frequently we hear of so-called self driving, autonomous vehicles.  And the designers and producers of these vehicles give the public the impression that these vehicles are “right around the corner”.  So what’s the point behind learning to drive now that this is going to happen soon? What they fail to mention is that our roadway infrastructure was not originally designed to accommodate this type of automobile.  So realistically, until everything aligns from an engineering standpoint, to a coordinated effort from government, and mass acceptance from the public; we must remain focused on something that is within our control.  And that is the in-car training of the current novice driver. 

In a National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) report to Congress: “Research has shown that parents and other guardians have great potential to influence youngsters.  At a minimum, adults through their own driving behaviors provided models (positive and negative) to novice drivers. Research has also documented that there are multiple problems in using parents and guardians to enhance the training and learning of young drivers…..However, because the potential benefits far outweigh the negative, educators are attempting to include parents and guardians in aspects of educating young students.” (Smith)

As a driving instructor of tens of thousands of students and an educator of instructors, I couldn’t agree more.  Without reinforcement of the skills we have taught a student, by the parent, the student will make limited progress.  Inversely, if the student has not learned properly from the beginning and has already developed bad habits, we as instructors have a very limited time to overcome this and turn the bad novice driver into a good one.

Some parents underestimate the value of driver education instruction and refuse to hire a professional to teach their teen. “Many….parents are highly motivated to be their child’s primary driving instructor, have the best interests of their child at heart, but simply are not equipped with the requisite aptitudes, attitudes, and experience to do so successfully.”  (Pezoldt, Womack and Morris). If you fall into this category but still decide to take on the task on the in-car portion, please consider hiring a professional to evaluate your teen at the conclusion of your lessons with him/her. 

And don’t forget, Car Teen is here to help.  We can supply you with an in-car guide to follow, advise you if or when your teen struggles in certain areas when behind-the-wheel, or help you choose a suitable provider of instruction in your area.  Our service doesn’t stop when the classroom ends. 

I hope this series has been informative and enlightening. When you’re ready to begin, we stand ready to provide you the best in Texas teen driver education. Together, we can turn your teen into a good, safe novice driver.

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