Stay sane, stay safe. Here’s how to handle your kid behind the wheel.
So your teen is ready to hit the road, but are you? When you’ve been driving for years it’s easy to forget just how stressful learning to drive can be. British actress Carey Mulligan failed her test five times because of nerves! If you’re not quite sure where to begin, read on for some expert advice and consider an RCS Personal Loan to get your child one-on-one lessons with a pro.
FIND A GREAT INSTRUCTOR
You might consider yourself a brilliant driver, but your child has a better chance of passing their test if they’ve had professional lessons. “Most parents are not aware of the very stringent rules of the K53. Unfortunately, the student may be well versed in the standard rules of the road, and be a confident and safe driver, however, if they do not apply K53 rules they will not pass their driving test,” says Grant Maloney who owns ABC School of Motoring in the Southern Peninsula. “A parent/child teaching situation is also not always ideal, and often a stranger is the better person to teach them to drive.”
PLAN AND PRACTICE
Even with lessons, your teen needs a lot of practice to become comfortable and confident. But don’t just head out on the road with no plan in mind. Finding yourself in the middle of peak traffic can cause unnecessary stress for both of you. Plan your route according to your child’s skill level and let them master the basics such as accelerating, braking and turning, in an empty parking lot. Clutch control is a biggie. “Many students struggle to come to a smooth stop, and a controlled pull-off again. It can take quite a long time to get this right,” says Grant.
Parents habitually tell their children to “be careful” and even though you might be having a mini heart attack on the inside, try not to overreact, yell or micromanage your learner driver. Teenagers, in particular, can be very sensitive and they need to feel like you trust that they can do it. “Don't put too much pressure on your child,” advises Grant. “That said, once they are more confident and are able to stop and pull away smoothly every time, give them the freedom to practise on the open road, as this is the only way they will progress.”
WALK THE TALK
We’re all guilty of treating a stop sign as a yield sign and going a little (or a lot) above the speed limit. When your teen is learning to drive it’s more important than ever to set a good example. After all, you’d have a thing or two to say if they didn’t wear their seatbelt, right?
STEER YOUR TEEN IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION WITH AN RCS PERSONAL LOAN
Driving lessons are essential to help your child become a safe driver and pass their driving test. An RCS Personal Loan is an easy way to cover the costs and the application process couldn’t be simpler. Apply for a loan from R2 000 to R150 000 and get the cash within 24 hours. There are flexible repayment options too!