Driving a car involves a complex set of skills that teens have to practice in order to master. Parents who teach their children to drive tend to focus more on vehicle handling aspects - such as parallel parking - versus hazard recognition and trickier maneuvers that prevent accidents, according to The Wall Street Journal. Unless you're willing to go the extra mile and train your child to drive under difficult conditions you should consider enrolling your teen in a driving school, if it isn't already required by law.

Taking the rigorous road
Experienced drivers make split-second judgment calls that allow them to anticipate and avoid crashes every day, but they don't necessarily impart those skills to their teens. Parents tend to underestimate the importance of accident-avoidance techniques, often steering clear of them altogether when teaching a teen to drive. A good driving school takes your teen out of his or her comfort zone and teaches the student to handle more difficult and more diverse roads than you might be willing to. For example, making left turns into traffic and merging onto and off of high speed freeways are all maneuvers that parents often shy away from teaching because they are more stressful or seem too risky to teach a beginner.

A neutral third-party can show you the way
Many states require a teen to get 40 or more hours of supervised driving with an adult, in addition to attending a state-certified driver's education course. But teens will benefit from driving school, whether it's mandatory or not. Driver's education courses are comprehensive, covering more topics than parents normally would, and they have trained teachers who can be more effective than a parent or family member.

A relative may be biased, may simply ride along in order to help their teen log enough hours, or simply may not have the best driving habits. A professional driving instructor reinforces best practices, such as distraction-free driving, according to DMV.org. Driving schools are in the business of helping students to pass their driving exams, so they do their research. They also prepare students to meet the state standards on written and driving tests, teaching teens the basics, such as traffic laws and signs, while also discussing safety principles that, while possibly not be on the exam, will make your teen a safer driver.

Parents get a crash course in teen driving
Highlighting the importance of professional driving instruction, a driver's education course designed for parents who are teaching their children to drive showed the software improved supervised practice and driving performance among teens in the trials.


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