5 Ways to Reduce Driving Anxiety in Teen Drivers
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Congratulations, you now have a teen driver! While this is exciting for both the teen and maybe the parent(s), it can also induce all matters of emotions including driving anxiety and apprehension.
I know this is true for me as a mama of a 17-year-old. Let me just say, the driving part has been beyond easy, it’s navigating around other drivers that have been the ultimate challenge.
With the Pandemic, it’s obvious people are more on edge (rightfully so), but this is even evident in their driving skills. I’ve never seen as much reckless driving as I do now which makes it nerve-wracking for parents and their teens.
If you are in the same boat and have a teen driver who is facing driving anxiety and not sure how to alleviate them, you are not alone. Here are 5 tips that may be helpful not only for your teen driver but for you as a parent as well.
1. Be sure your teen has a safe vehicle to drive and practice in.
No, it doesn’t have to be a brand spanking new car, but it should meet all safety requirements to help your teen feel comfortable and safe while driving at all times. Actually, if you are on the search for a vehicle for you and your family and reside in the Metro Detroit Michigan area, check out Village Jeep in Royal Oak! You could even check out their nice inventory of used vehicles.
2. This may sound challenging, but help your teen face their anxiety of driving altogether.
Getting into the vehicle is a start. Remind your teen that avoiding the ability to drive at all will only cause the anxiety to worsen. Practicing is also key! The more they drive, the more confidence they will gain.
3. In order to build that confidence and lessen anxiety, start in slow residential areas.
If needed, drive around the block a few times so that they become familiar with the car and are able to properly use their driving skills on city roads. This is also helpful if they need to use the freeway. The best tip with freeway driving anxiety is to stay in the right lane and just go the speed limit. Let others pass you!
4. Eliminate any distractions
When a teen driver is about to hit the roadways, encourage them to avoid any distractions. This includes putting their phone away like in the glove box. Yes, they should have their phone but only in case of emergencies. Another distraction is the car radio. It would be best to minimize the radio volume or turn it off altogether. Some soft uplifting music playing in the background may help reduce anxiety, but only you know your teen and what they are trustworthy with behind the wheel. Remind them that blasting the radio will hinder their senses and driving skills.
5. If possible, encourage your teen to leave for destinations really early to avoid rush hour traffic, etc.
Traffic can definitely add to driving-anxiety if they aren’t used to it yet. They may end up getting to let’s say, “work” really early but hey, better early without anxiety than late with anxiety running high.
Here’s to safe and anxiety-free driving! 😉