Driver’s Ed, Quarantine Style: How to Teach Your Teen to Drive During COVID-19
Most of us parents remember afternoons of Driver’s Ed in the 80s and 90s: packed into a classroom with our friends, passing notes, watching pretty disturbing videos about drunk or reckless driving, and taking high-anxiety drives in the Driver’s Ed car, where our quirky instructor had that weird extra brake pedal on the passenger side. (Genius idea, BTW.)
But in our current COVID-19 climate, Driver’s Ed needs to look a little different. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, considering that modern alternatives to traditional driver’s ed can be more affordable, interactive, efficient, and accessible from anywhere at any time. Here’s our step-by-step guide for getting your teen behind the wheel without in-person Driver’s Ed classes.
1. Sign Your Teen Up for a Virtual Driver’s Ed
Aceable, is a top-rated driving education mobile app that offers drivers ed courses. It’s a self-paced, state-accredited, DMV-approved curriculum that will help your teen master all the skills and knowledge needed to pass their driving test once DMVs are offering them again. You and your teen can access the classes through your computer, phone, or tablet, and they are full of fun, interactive ways to learn—including memes, quizzes, videos, and more! There are also practice tests and chat/phone/email support, seven days a week.
2. Take on the Role of Driver’s Ed Teacher
Normally, you can choose between a parent-taught and instructor-taught course, but, given the circumstances, you’ll probably want to choose parent-taught. Plus, you get the bonus of saving more money that way! With this option, you’ll be providing the in-car, on-the-road instruction.
What’s great about Aceable is that they teach you how to teach your teen. All you’ve got to do is not freak out! No problem, right? One silver lining of COVID-19 in this situation is that there is little to no traffic on the roads right now, so all the blind turns, merging lanes, and highway speeds should be a little less intense. Even still, we know teaching your teen to drive can be full of anxiety and high emotions no matter how quiet the roads are, so we’ve put together some tips to help you teach your teens to drive without losing your cool.
3. Make Sure You’re Covered
There are a few things to do before you get started on at-home Driver’s Ed:
Get the right insurance.
Here’s a little shortcut to get started, and you can check all the benefits and discounts we give to parents who add teen drivers to their plans. Spoiler alert: you can save a bunch through Good Student Discounts and Accident Forgiveness.
Get a tune-up.
When your child is getting behind the wheel, you want to make sure that all regular maintenance on your car is up to date. Have the brakes checked, of course, but also make sure that your inspection is current, your oil is changed, your tires are filled to the right pressure, and all your lights and turn signals are working properly. And while most mechanics are open because they are considered essential services, this is a great time to use our At-Home Mechanic Services, for a social-distanced tune-up without leaving your house.
Get on a schedule.
Even though you’re the teacher and Aceable can be done at any time, we’ve found that it helps everyone to set a schedule. What that looks like varies from one family to the next, but having expectations around class time, driving time, and course completion will keep things moving and keep you sane.
4. Buckle Up!
Of course, we mean literally, but emotionally it is just as important. During this time at home, talk to your teen about your expectations for them as drivers — the rules of the road, if you will. This includes discussions about how much time they’ll be spending in the car, how many friends they can drive at a time, and how much financial responsibility they’ll bear for gas, repairs, and, heaven forbid, speeding tickets.
One last thing: make a plan for what they should do if they find themselves stranded or in need of help. Apparent members have special access to our Smart Roadside Assistance, which gives you and your teen trackable, shareable info about the person coming to tow or help!