Almost every teenager wishes to drive as soon as they reach the legal age to do so. Driving is an important skill to have in life, especially if you do not see yourself on public transport for the rest of your life. Your teenager likely feels this way about driving, so it is important to make sure they are ready to start. Here are some ways to prepare your teen to start driving.

Make Sure They Know What They’re Signing Up For

You need to make sure your teen knows what driving a car involves. They need to know the controls, how they work, and how to use them because a single misstep can have fatal consequences on the road. Car accidents are the leading cause of teen deaths by a landslide with 5.1% or 1,819 road fatalities and more than 5.9% or 138,000 of all car crash injuries being from hit and run drivers. Enroll your teen in a driving school or a driving safety program so that they get a grasp of how serious driving is. Remember to be a role model, for example, if you eat and drive, do not be surprised if your child does too. When you feel they understand the work of a car, let them go for a spin with you in the passenger seat to assess what they need to improve.

Have Them Take Their Time

What you want is a safe, competent driver when all is said and done. All the hours spent practicing and learning should be taken one step at a time so that you do not release a hazard onto the roads. The minimum hours of practice required in most states is 50hrs. However, keep in mind, this is the absolute minimum. If it takes you longer than that, it is totally fine and maybe even better, so that you can make sure every essential skill is in the bag. Explain everything in detail, plan out every lesson before they get behind the wheel, and talk about traffic situations they need to know about.

Practice in Different Conditions

The best way to learn is to have lots of practice in different traffic situations and conditions. In 1902, when the first limousine hit the road, most of the roads were not as smooth as they are today because not all roads were paved yet. You should teach your child to drive on roads with varying quality of pavement so that they can drive wherever they are. If you can, take them to areas with varying qualities and types of roads, such as dust roads, roads that go along hills and valleys, and roads with potholes so that they learn to navigate them. Start simply with a calm neighborhood route to let them get the hang of being behind a wheel, then progress to highways and busier roads.

Keep an Eye On Them

Remember to keep an eye on your teens when they get their license. Having it only means they passed the bare minimum to drive and not that they are a master. Give them time to get used to driving with a license a bit more before giving them too much freedom on the road. No big road trips across town or too far. Start by allowing them to go to familiar locations and nearby places; keep being a passenger when they drive, then gradually give them more freedom to drive alone. Investing in a quality car with a good safety rating is a good idea. You don’t want a cheap car that will corrode easily because it is expensive to maintain. In 2002, the U.S. Federal Highway Administration estimated the direct cost of corrosion in the U.S. was $276 billion each year, about 3% of the nation’s GDP.

Follow these tips and your teen will be driving in no time! It may not be easy but the effort is absolutely worth it.