High anxiety for parents teaching teens to drive

40% of parents terrified at the prospect

car key hand over

Most of us learnt to drive in the family car with a brave parent gripping tightly to the door handle, just how brave those parents are has now been revealed.

A British study conducted by the car manufacturer, Vauxhall, shows 40% of parents are terrified at the prospect of having their kids drive them around while they learn to drive.

Related: Safety credentials a low priority for young car buyers

The research looked at the driving habits of 1,000 children and their parents.

It was also revealed that 57% of parents can’t wait for their kids to be able to drive themselves, yet nearly the same amount (52%) wouldn’t trust themselves as their instructor.

42% of the parents also admitted to forgetting many of the road rules themselves.

The research results come just days after a Melbourne driving instructor described the Australian driver training and licensing scheme as being broken - details here.

While for parents who bravely take the role as driving instructor, about 20% suffered some damages to their car while showing a young one the ropes.

Conversely, of the youngsters surveyed, 53% nominated dad as being a better driver than mum.

Yet it was more often driving lessons with dads that ended up with their being car damage – 20%, compared to just 8% for mums.

Denis Chick from Vauxhall says the results were interesting.

“We definitely think that when it comes to driving lessons that the it is wisest to leave it to the professionals.

“As the research has shown, it seems most parents agree.”

Related: Attractive pedestrians distracting young drivers!

What do you think? Are you happy to teach your kids to drive? Or have you made sure a professional got the job?

Let us know in the comments section below.

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About Simon Lai 1324 Articles
Simon is a writer and sometime contributor to the podcast. He also takes care of video production and product reviews. He met Joel through radio school and has worked with him on other ventures, reading news, producing and presenting radio content for regional networks. Simon doesn’t profess to be a car nut but enjoys driving first and foremost and has a penchant for hot hatches. He helps to provide the everyday-man perspective.

1 Comment on High anxiety for parents teaching teens to drive

  1. Thanks for the article, Simon. Sometimes prickly family dynamics are taken into the car and it’s certainly regarded by many parents as a time to survive.

    Most of us haven’t undertaken a knowledge or practical driving test for over twenty years, so before conducting the first driving lesson with our teen, it would probably be beneficial to reacquaint ourselves with the road rules and regulations. Most licensing authorities have free practice online knowledge tests and offer a pdf of road laws. It would possibly also be worthwhile to evaluate our own driving behaviours and habits well before commencing lessons – ensuring there is congruence between what we are currently practising and what we will soon be preaching.

    It may be beneficial to practice taking the steering wheel with one hand from the passenger seat with an experienced driver in the driver’s seat, in a quiet controlled area – because it will more than likely happen when supervising a beginner driver. Setting up a small detachable mirror on the passenger side of the car will also assist with supervision.

    I feel it’s important to develop a plan with our greenhorn that deals with the event of a lesson all going to hell in a handbasket. It may be to simply pull-over when safe; turn the engine off; breathe; discuss what just happened and agree on a way forward. And to give careful consideration to routes the learner can handle … driving it first our self to prepare for potential challenges - starting around quiet locations such as: carparks and industrial areas; at non-busy times; in good weather conditions.

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