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Teen Drivers

Parents Teaching Driving To Teens
Some Tips for Safety and Peace of Mind

On the first lesson the professional instructor will have worked on parking next to a curb, and right and left turns, and maybe some basic lane change skills. These are some important tips as you help to develop your teenager’s basic car control skills:

  1. You will need to set aside a block of time dedicated to practice driving. 30 minutes to an hour is probably as much as both of you can handle
  2. At the beginning session, you should allow your teento have a 15 to 20 minute warm up straight drive, without too many turns.This is to help them relax. It takes a new driver about 10 to 20 minutes to get used to a different car.
  3. Pick a quiet residential area with square short blocks and practice making about 20 right and left turns. You may need to help with right-of-way decision-making. Don’t push your teeninto more traffic than they can handle. Their instructor will let you know what they need to work on and what to avoid.
  4. In the first ten hours of driving, do not run errands or do 5 and 10 minute drives. They won’t have time to relax and this can destroyconfidence.After they have good control of the basic skills then any practice they can get will be good. This usually happens between 6 and 10 hours.
  5. Please only one teacher per driving session. Mom, Dad or Uncle Joe, but no more than one in the car at a time. Mom and Dad usually have different driving styles and“too many cooks can spoil the broth.”
  6. I tell students to practice with theparent they get along with best in the beginning. Unfinished personal business has a habit of popping up.
  7. No passengers in the first ten hours. The new driver needs all their focus and concentration and do not need extra distractions like siblings, cell phones and music.
  8. Keep your instructions simple … the less words the better.
  9. New drivers usuallyhavetunnel vision and will not see lateral hazards developing: Cars backing out of driveways, pedestrians, dogs, cats,bicycles etc. You can help them by pointing out at least a block ahead of time that there is a driver in the red truck that may be opening a door or pulling out. “Cover your brake, cover your horn.”
  10. The most common mistake that all new drivers make is forgetting where their foot is. They sometimes hit the wrong pedal,which can be quite exciting, or more likely,terrifying.
  11. Most automatic cars will move at 2 to 3 milesper hour by themselves. When parking, remind your teen to cover the brake. They do not usually need gas in a parking lot or driveway. Avoid crowded parking lots and gas stations in the first six hours.This is where most new-driver collisions occur.
  12. Be sure to encourage them, and keep your comments and feedback positive. When corrections are necessary, avoidgetting personal. (eg: “You drive just like your father…”)
  13. You may have to pull over from time to time to appeasethose driversbehind you that can’t understand why you are going at the posted speedlimit. This will take pressure off of everyone, and give your teen a chance to practice merging back into traffic. (Mirror, signal, over the shoulder, go when safe.)
  14. Mom and Dad;this is also a good time to upgrade yourdriving bysetting a good example: Stopping behind the line, obeying speed limits, not tailgating, using turn signals, looking over your shoulder on all lane changes. Set a good example. Your child’s driving instructor is a professional driver, who has been trained to drive perfectly. Ifyou have any questions, be sure to talk with him or her to clarify any questions you may have.
  15. Keep the first six hours fairly close together, especially for brand new students. Every opportunity for practice and decision-making is essential.Your new driver is working on basic skills and habits that will last them a lifetime. With too much time in between lessons it is easy to pick up bad habits.
  16. Our instructors teach only the most correct way of driving. If you have any questions about what your teen is learning, please contact Ken Cornelius at 805-646-2113.
  17. After the 6-hour course is complete, please practice in as much traffic as possible. The 50 hours is to develop their decision making skills. Straight driving, although easy, does not accomplish this task.
  18. When scheduling lessons (especially before your drive test), remember that we are frequently booked two weeks in advance. has some interesting articles for all drivers!


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Ken and Sunshine Driving School were the best things that could have happened to me during learning to drive experience. After a horrible set of lessons from another local driving school, after which I vowed I would never drive again, Ken reestablished my confidence in my driving abilities. His calm demeanor assured me that I was always safe, and his encouragement (and occasional humor) helped me learn in a positive and constructive way. Folks, Ken is undoubtedly one of the best driving teachers out there. His experience shows in every lesson and interaction. It was a pleasure and honor to learn how to drive from Ken, especially after encountering the worst. Heck, I even passed my test first try!

I hope that this suffices! I could probably write you an in-depth 5 page paper if you really wanted it. I'm thinking a catchy title would be: KEN CORNELIUS, PRAISE BE UNTO HIM! :) hahaha.

I hope that you and all of your family is doing well. I recommend you to EVERYONE! Truly!

Best wishes always,
Olivia, Thacher Student

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Tel: (8O5) 646-2113
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