Learning to drive is an important time in your teenager’s life and they will need your guidance throughout the process.
It is an exciting time when your teenager comes of age and can begin driving lessons!However, there are many things to consider too.
Learning to drive is an important time in your teenager’s life and they will need your guidance throughout to ensure everything is done appropriately.
Here is everything you need to know about your teenager learning to drive:
1. Pass the theory test – Before you start anything, anyone wishing to learn to drive in Ireland will first need to pass the theory test. Teenagers can apply for the theory test at www.theorytest.ie and choose a date that suits them. The fee is currently €45, and they must answer 40 multiple choice questions and get 35 correct in order to pass.
2. Insurance - Adding your teenager as a named driver to your own policy is really the only viable way to start off, but it is costly. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that insurance isn’t needed for teaching them the basics as you must get the proper paperwork before your teenager gets behind the wheel of your car. There is no room for error here. Insurance is expensive but vital.
3. Settle the nerves – When your teenager is learning to drive, they will be incredibly nervous, and this is perfectly normal. Help settle their nerves by being supportive and offering advice. Remember things have completely changed from the time you learned to drive, and you will need to set a good example to your teenager. If you have bad habits, stop now and be mindful that your teen is learning to drive so they will pick up on your behaviour behind the wheel.
4. Safety and practising – Your teenager needs to know the basics and understanding of how a car works. Seatbelts, mirrors adjusting and driving a car that is in good working condition are all a must. Practising their skills is paramount to their success as a driver and it is ideal to begin driving in an empty parking lot to build up confidence without fear. Let your teenager get acquainted with the brakes, control systems and how the car handles in different situations. Consider weather conditions too as it does impact driving techniques when the sun is low or when the roads are icy. Remind your teen to slow down coming to curves, coming to full stop sign and don’t forget the rules of a four-way stop. Teach your teen some basic stuff about the car including how to change a tyre, checking air pressure on tyres, checking the oil, getting diesel/petrol and how to jump-start a car.
5. Lessons make perfect - Mastering the basic skills will be easy enough for your teen but lessons are part and parcel of learning to drive. Professional lessons are mandatory now anyway, but they do offer significant value with more technical skills being taught. Ensure your teenagers driving instructor is someone that is highly recommended and gets results. Also, your teenager will need to feel comfortable with them too. A learner needs to complete 12 EDT lessons and then they can sit their practical test, but it is vital that your teen gets lots of practice in between each of the lessons to give them more confidence behind the wheel.
It won’t be long until they are passing their driving test and “beep beep!”
For all the information you need to get your teenager on the road legally check out the RSA website.
Emma Hayes is a thirty-something mum of two girls aged 16 and 10, planting her right into the teenage and tween-age years! Follow her on Twitter at @EmmaHayes25.