This is the first in my series of drives I use to teach a new driver. The description and overview of the series can be read by clicking here.
When I’m teaching a teen to drive, the first drive is actually a series of drives. My goals at the beginning of this process are:
- Go over the ground rules outlined in my first post to make sure we are on the same page
- Allow the teen driver to get comfortable with setting up the car and the controls – adjusting the seat; adjusting mirrors; setting the steering wheel position; location of headlight controls, turn signals, hazards, parking brake operation
- Make sure the teen driver knows location of brake and gas pedals – yes, it may seem basic, but remember this is their first time
- Develop spatial awareness, meaning the teen driver knows the front of the car extends beyond what they can see and demonstrate the concept of blind spots by standing outside the car while the teen sits in the car using the mirrors
Once we’re good with the initial phase, then I move on to driving the car by first having the teen driver get comfortable using the gas and brake, especially understanding the pedal pressure required to move the car and stop it. I also go over the concept that an automatic drive car will start to move (when on a flat surface) as soon as you take your foot off the brake.