Help Your Child Learn How to Drive

In this section of Teen Driver Source, we provide helpful, evidence-based resources to teach your teen how to drive safely during the supervised driving (or learner's permit) stage of licensure. Learning how to drive can be challenging for everyone involved, but we hope to empower parents and teens to make the most of supervised driving practice and to view it as a rewarding experience.

It’s exciting that a new member of the family is ready to learn how to drive. We at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia know that both teens and parents want trusted guidance about how to teach a child to drive. That’s why we gathered the best information from clinicians, researchers, driving instructors, teenagers, educators, and others for teaching driving skills to a teenager. 

As a parent, it can be hard to give up the wheel and move to the passenger seat, but a new driver’s safest time behind the wheel is with you or another trusted adult closely supervising. The least safe? The first 6 to 12 months after a teen receives a provisional license and drives alone. The more time and thought invested in practice driving, the more skills and experience a teen will learn and take into independent driving.

As a youth on the verge of adulthood and becoming independent, it can be hard to be so dependent on a parent’s focused attention to get the critical supervised driving practice accomplished to learn how to drive safety. Remember you both have shared goals:

  • a newly licensed driver in the family
  • a driver who is prepared to avoid crashing when driving on one’s own

Every teen and every family is unique. This is no different when it comes to driving. Every family has its own challenges and timeline when teaching a teen how to drive safely. There is no one set path. However, all families must be prepared to adjust and adapt their busy schedules to make time for intentional practice driving sessions. We hope you find this section of Teen Driver Source useful in teaching your child how to drive safely.