Parents often get anxious as their child begins to drive, especially those teenagers who have ADHD. There is a lot to learn when it comes to getting behind the wheel, and teens may find it challenging to remember everything. In addition to learning the basics regarding the rules of the road and car maintenance, parents should also teach new drivers how to handle emergency situations that may arise while they are behind the wheel.
All teens have a lot to learn when it comes to driving, and the process can be especially challenging for kids with ADHD. My ADHD details that these teens may have trouble concentrating while driving and they may find it difficult to react calmly to issues that pop up with other drivers. They also tend to engage in risky choices while driving like using a phone or not wearing a seatbelt, so parents need to be especially vigilant in teaching these teens how to handle problems that may occur while they’re driving.
Read on for ways to prepare your teen for the situations they may face while behind the wheel.
Prepare teens to be aware of potential vehicle issues.
Parents often focus on teaching new teen drivers basics like eliminating distractions and following the speed limit. However, teen drivers should also learn basic car maintenance and how to handle problems that can arise. Bloomberg suggests that teens listen to the engine as they drive, keeping the noise and chaos in the car to a minimum. If a new driver knows how the engine sounds when the car is running well, then they are a step ahead if things start to go wrong.
New drivers also need to be aware of what the warning lights on the dashboard mean, and the check engine light is a big one to monitor. As Angie’s List points out, teaching a new teen driver about how important these dashboard lights are is quite important, as ignoring these can lead to breakdowns and major car repairs.
A rapidly blinking check engine light, for example, needs an immediate response. If the car is not driving any differently when the light comes on, it is likely fine to simply schedule a visit to the mechanic. However, if the light is rapidly blinking, or the vehicle is performing differently, the teen needs to stop and address it right away by calling a parent or mechanic.
Teach teenaged drivers how to handle unexpected circumstances
Teenagers typically learn how to drive during nice weather and they may be ill-equipped to drive in rain and snow. Kids Goals suggests taking time on a snowy or rainy day to take a teen to an empty parking lot to practice the basics of bad weather driving. For example, teens need to learn to allow more time and space for stopping and turning as well as adjust to the different levels of visibility that come in bad weather.
No parent wants their teenaged driver to have a road-related emergency or accident, but it is important to teach kids how to handle these situations before they arise. Driver’s Ed Guru points out that a teen needs to know never to leave the scene of an accident, no matter whose fault it was. A teen needs to do their best to remain calm and ensure that they are in a safe spot and call for help.
While it can be hard to determine whether or not the police should be called after a car accident, especially in a minor fender-bender, it is typically better to be safe than sorry and make the call. It’s important to get contact and insurance information from the other driver, as well as the license plate number and a description of the car.
No parent ever wants their teen driver to face a road emergency, but it is best to prepare them ahead of time. Teach your teen driver how to drive in inclement weather, what to do if the car starts driving poorly, and how to handle an accident to ensure they can manage problems that pop up while they are behind the wheel. Teens with ADHD may be particularly vulnerable to having issues while on the road, so the more a parent can do ahead of time to prepare their child, the more likely that any issues can be handled smoothly.
Author: Mark Connor
[Image via Pixabay]