Here you are in the passenger seat, showing your little baby how to drive a car! Good job! We all know this can be a nerve-racking experience, for both of you. Here are some car features to look for as well as some tips for both of you to help things go smoothly!

Some Tips for You the Parent

  • Make sure to take them driving and have them watch what you do and how you handle certain situations. Don’t just let them sit in the back or passenger seat and play on their phones, make sure they pay attention! (We know this may be the hardest part here!)
  • Start off in a parking lot, away from major distractions and dangers. Let them get used to the feel of the car, braking, accelerating, turning, etc. Things we take for granted are brand new experiences for them.
  • Go over the car features, but try not to overwhelm them right off the bat, only go over the important ones first. You don’t need to point out how to change radio stations on the steering wheel just yet!
  • Try not to show that you are a nervous wreck, this causes them to be nervous as well and that’s when things can go wrong. You want this to be a good learning experience not lead to a big fight or worse.
  • Depending on the personality type of the new driver, you may want to just gently guide them along or let them take the reins on most things alone. Some kiddos like the help while others think you are “nagging them” (insert eye roll here)
  • Let them drive around the lot for a while getting the hang of everything then take them on non-busy streets to experience the real world for a bit.

Helpful Features and Tools for this New Adventure

Now, these features help once they are driving on their own, such as a work permit or school permit. Some carmakers have really gone above and beyond making their cars parent and teen-friendly. Here are some options to look for!

  • GM’s Teen Driver or Ford MyKey- A feature found in GM and Ford models makes them not able to drive or turn up their music until the seatbelt is buckled. It also gives you reports on how their driving and speed warnings for them. Hyundai, Infiniti and more also have teen driver systems.
  • You can get a phone app (many different ones available) that help you track where they are and even if they are hard braking, driving fast, using their phone or if a crash has been detected.
  • Navigation. Whether a Garmin or vehicle installed Navigation system helps the new driver find their way around unfamiliar areas.

Bottom line, the cars being made now days are a lot safer than what we learned to drive in most likely! Relax and enjoy this experience! If you have questions about special features be sure to talk to your dealer and find out what your car may already have! Oh, and good luck with this new chapter!