When I turned 15 and was legally old enough to begin learning how to drive a car, I was so excited! I was so nervous, as well, like many young would-be drivers.
One of the difficulties I had while learning to drive was that for the past 10 years as a child and young adult, I had spent my years in the car, as a passenger, with my nose in a book, or working on stitching projects. I rarely looked around at the view, let alone observe the "rules of the road."
This was NOT a good thing. Not only did I need to learn the mechanics of driving a vehicle, I needed to learn to be observant, to be aware of directions and maps and where I was, and to be able to keep tabs on other drivers and the rules I would need to follow.
Needless to say, this was extremely stressful for me. To add to the stress of learning how to drive a car, I also needed glasses, although we didn't know that at the time. No wonder when my dad would point out deer as I drove along, I could not see them until I was almost right on top of them!
My parents did the best job they could in teaching my twin sister and I to drive. Speaking for myself, I have always been spatially challenged. Anything that required good spatial reasoning skills was difficult for me...and still is. I still see this weakness holding me back every day of my life, but that's just the way that God chose to make me. And I'm okay with that. I just have to rely on Him even more to help me out!
How does this spatial reasoning difficulty work out in my life?
Well, when learning how to drive, it literally took me a few years of driving to feel comfortable figuring out from the driver seat where the tires of my car were in relation to objects on the road. I don't think I ever ran over anything that gave me a flat tire, but I might have come very close. I also found it difficult to drive using zone driving - looking in the distance vs. making sure the center of the hood was lined up where it should be on the road. And parallel parking? Well, I still try to avoid it at all costs. That is something that I still find so difficult with my vision and spatial skills, even with glasses.
Our oldest daughter will be old enough to begin learning behind the wheel of one of these two vehicles in about two years.
Both vehicles have decent safety records for collisions and impacts, so we're comfortable with that. We usually drive our "previously owned" vehicles for about 14-17 years before upgrading them, so I'll start praying now that even with a young driver behind the wheel, we won't need to upgrade sooner than what we normally do!
We've decided to begin teaching her some of the rules of the road now, before she turns 15, so that when she begins to learn how to drive behind the wheel, maybe it won't be quite so stressful. We also already know that she has excellent vision, so she is one step ahead of me with that, thankfully. However, she still loves to read books in the car, so now we're going to occasionally have her focus on 1-2 new skills or driving laws for her to observe while we're driving out and about, around town.
Here are some materials and links to websites and other driver education options for you to consider. I've already picked up a "hard copy" of the Driver Manual for our state, and we'll begin working through this together.
An excellent parent-teen driving agreement is available from AAA below:
AAA also provides a Driver Knowledge Quiz that can be helpful practice for those learning to drive.
AAA also has a parent-teen driving program called "Teaching Your Teen To Drive" that is available for under $30. I haven't used this yet, but we may consider it in the future.
You'll also see some driving games online to help teach a few skills. Of course, this isn't as useful as getting out on the road and practicing the real thing, but it may help your young adult to visualize the technique that is being learned.
There also seem to be some educational and useful driving practice games from www.DriversEd.com, but please note that some features of this website are not free.
How do you intend to begin teaching your young adult to drive?
What kinds of things have you done with your young adult children to help them become better drivers?
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Hi! I'm Julieanne!
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