Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

Tips to Teach Your Teen Better Driving Skills

The best time to talk to your teenager about improving their driving skills is probably not when you’re in the car with them. Distraction is a major cause of driving accidents and while learning to drive can be distracting, your job as a parent is to make sure your teen learns to drive safe and smart. Make sure you talk to them about these suggestions for better driving skills before getting behind the wheel and have them practice before taking them to the road.


It only takes a second of taking your eyes off the road for something unexpected to happen. Make sure your teen fully understands the importance of staying focused every second they are driving. Teach them to keep cell phones out of sight. They can always pull over safely if they are expecting a call. Remind them to keep their hands off the radio when they’re driving. No eating, and no grooming while driving.


If you’re the one teaching your teen to drive, gradually increase the variety of roads and situations they drive in. Make sure they experience heavy traffic and interstates with you as their passenger. Teach them how to anticipate situations before they happen. If possible, have them gain experience in an area where there are bikers and motorcyclists. Let them learn by experience how to give bicycles and motorcycles a wide berth

Traffic Laws

Make sure your teen understands the penalties for breaking traffic laws. Give them real life examples of what can happen if you speed, drink and drive, or run red lights. Teach them about consequences like fines and license suspensions. Explain what happens if they get a DUI and that they can lose their license and even go to jail. 

Driving Skills

Your teen needs to understand that safe driving is not learned overnight. They will need to learn how to change lanes safely, apply the brakes safely, keep a safe distance from other cars, and to increase the distance at night or during rainy weather. Make sure your teen knows how to react in unexpected or new situations. Play out what they would do if they heard an emergency vehicle approaching from behind or what to do if a school bus stops in front of them. 

Good driving skills can be a matter of life and death. Teenagers should be discouraged from driving together in large groups and be made to understand how distracting this can be. Your teen should understand that vehicles are never to be raced or driven recklessly. Drive with your teen until you feel that they have a full understanding of the responsibility of driving a vehicle.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.
Tim Esterdahl

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