Should I teach my teen how to drive?

By Viv
Should I teach my kid to drive?

While this seems like a great idea, many parents as well as their kids may not be that eager to engage in driving lessons with either party. This is interestingly stated in an article found on The author goes on to state ‘helping your children drive strikes fear into the hearts of many parents’. How often it is considered true, remains debatable. However, past experiences and even research has proven that in many cases, parents do seem reluctant to teach their children. The transport and accident commission of Australia shares some not-so-great facts when it comes to young driver related road accidents. The factsheet goes on to say that the age group of 16 to 24 years make up 18% of all fatalities and 20% of all serious injuries in South Australia from 2015-2019. And 138 were seriously injured. 

Although considered as a marked improvement from the previous years, there is still much to be gained in way of improvement when it comes to teen drivers and accidents. This leads us back to the original question, if a parent should teach their teen how to drive.


While many parents agree their kids could gain knowledge and training in driving without paying an instructor, many more parents aren’t that convinced about teaching their kids to drive. Which they don’t consider as such a great idea. In fact, studies have shown a reluctance by parents to teach their children to drive even if they could and had the time. Some parents may opt to teach their children to drive as a way of saving up on instructor fees or driving classes. But still many parents would prefer not to. According to the Western Slope Driving institute, USA, For a parent to teach their children, they must qualify with these criteria: Have a valid driving license, good knowledge of road rules, they are willing to take full responsibility if anything goes wrong, which may mean getting his or her driving license revoked in the event of an accident. These risks are very real and may pose many challenges to a parent wishing to train his or her child to driver. No doubt all these parents are bound to ask themselves ‘Can I teach a 16 year old to drive?’. Read on to evaluate the pros and cons of an Instructor Vs. a parent’s teaching.

During research interviews (also known as conversations with our driving students), many teen and learner drivers were forthcoming that their parents had given them wrong instructions to that of a professional instructor. Many would return home and explain to their parents the correct way of doing a certain maneuver or particular skill, in turn providing education to not only the child, but the parent alike. The key is to give your child the opportunity to learn driving the right way, from a professional driving instructor.


Many parents no doubt will gladly hand over the responsibility to an instructor than put themselves in the ‘hot seat’. And yes it does make sense to have a professional take charge to teach the teenager. Learning from an instructor is in many ways the best method of learning for the teenager. Especially when certain training applications come only from a professional instructor. In the presence of a parent, children tend to take the easy way out and may not give much thought to important information, taking instructions for granted. There also could be situations where the parent is ‘naggy’ and the teen driver may want to distance himself from the parent. This could result in non-learning, information loss and losing the element of trust as well. While these very real problems do exist, making the switch between parent and instructors definitely has its benefits. Instructors will guide and support the student driver, while at the same time promoting discipline, comprehension and gaining the trust of the student. This combination of teaching elements bring about the best results in student driver training.  The Government of South Australia explains this very well in their website,  on how roles change during the teaching period.


In essence, while many parents do not mind teaching their children to driver, many parents do acknowledge the fact that it would be difficult. Parents are not professional instructors and may have to face risky situations even compromising their future ability to driver. However, equalized it may seem, the clear distinction of choosing an instructor from a reputed driving school is well established. These instructors have delt and trained more students that any parent could do, after all it is their profession. When collectively looking at the more practical solution, it is evident that an instructors viewpoint will help the students reach their goal better than when training with a parent.

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