Putting your child behind the wheel of a car is a big step for both of you, so your state’s legal driving age should be only one of your considerations, say experts.
Your teen’s response to everyday situations is a good guideline for driving readiness. Do they remain calm and in control if something surprising or unexpected happens? Can they follow rules? How resistant are they to peer pressure and to making good judgments on their own? Are they a risk-taker that might not abide by the rules of the road?
How well your teen is able to pay attention to what’s important is also crucial to being ready to become a driver. If your child is preoccupied with texting, for example, and you can’t trust him or her to put the phone down to drive.
Hitting the road
If you think your child is ready for a license, the best way to find out is to let her get her permit and give it a try under supervision. The more experience a teen can get behind the wheel, the better.
It’s suggested that teens get at least 30 to 50 hours of supervised driving practice over a six-month period, at different times of the day and during different types of weather and traffic conditions.
Before your teen is given a license, be sure that they’re feeling just as comfortable with it as you are. If you’re teen doesn’t feel ready, that’s a telltale sign they shouldn’t be operating a vehicle alone yet.