It’s a rite of passage for teens to learn how to drive, but it can also be a daunting moment for parents.

Car crashes are the number one cause of teen deaths in America. Instilling good habits and making sure that your teen understands the necessity of careful driving is important.

How do you get through the process of teaching your teen to drive without giving in to your nerves?

Read on for 5 tips for teaching teenagers to drive that every parent should know.

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1. Stay Calm

The most important thing to do when teaching a teen to drive is to stay calm. They’re bound to make mistakes in the beginning and you will need to correct them while they’re behind the wheel. However, remember that they are in control of a vehicle, and losing your temper will only distract them, putting you both at risk.

2. Focus on Safety

Before you start worrying about things like parallel parking, make sure that you have a strong focus on safety. Every time you practice or work through a new lesson together, emphasize safe driving so that your teen learns that no matter when or where they’re driving, they need to stay vigilant.

Here are some driving tips that are helpful to look over. For established drivers, a lot of these tips become second nature. However, for your new driver, all of these messages need to be loud and clear.

3. Plan Your Route

Whenever you’re going out for a practice run, make sure that you know exactly where you’re going. Look at a map online and pick a specific destination. If you don’t know the route off the top of your head, write it down or map it on your phone.

While your teen is driving, give them clear instructions the entire way. Staying in control of where you’re going and what roads you take will eliminate unpleasant surprises for you and your teen.

4. Start Small

Learning to drive is not like learning to swim. Don’t throw your kid into the deep end and wait for instincts to kick in!

In other words, don’t hit the freeway right off the bat. Start small by driving in an empty parking lot, then a residential area with a low speed limit. Once your teen is used to the feel of the car, the gas pedal, and the break, you can make your way to areas with higher traffic and higher speed limits.

5. Set a Good Example

Lastly, don’t tell your teen to follow the speed limit or keep their phones in their pockets while driving and then turn around and break those rules. If your teen sees that you aren’t following the rules of the road, they’re not going to take you as seriously when you tell them to. Whether they’re in the car with you or not, always drive safely and with caution.

Teaching Your Teen to Drive Can Be a Pleasant Experience

When you follow our five tips, you’ll find that teaching your teen to drive doesn’t have to be scary. You may even find that it’s a pleasant experience!

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