Navigate the Waters of Parent-Taught Drivers Education in Texas
Teaching their teens to drive is a rite of passage for many Texas parents, but the process is still often nerve-wracking for both parties. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources available to make teaching your teen to drive as straightforward and stress-free as possible. Our app, Mentor for Families by eDriving, allows you to monitor your teen’s driving progress in real time, acting as your child’s personal driving coach and generating a FICO® Safe Driving Score after every trip. Information is stored on your teen’s favorite device – their smartphone. As you use the app to monitor your teen’s progress, read on for our recommendation on the right path to take toward parent-taught drivers education success.
Start the teaching process by completing Form DL-92, Request for a New Parent-Taught Drivers Education Packet, online. Before you receive your packet, the state of Texas will conduct a simple background check, ensuring you are indeed the student’s parent, step-parent, grandparent, foster parent or legal guardian, and that you have had a valid Texas driver’s license for at least the prior three years. Parents whose license has been revoked or suspended for traffic-related offenses within the past three years are ineligible, as are any parents with six or more current points on their license. Once this background check is concluded, expect to receive the packet in two to three weeks.
Act as an Educator
When you start teaching your child to drive, you’re no longer just a parent – you’re also an educator. That means your duties extend beyond teaching your teen how to back up and parallel park. You must also talk to your teen about safe driving practices and how to spot issues before they occur. As a parent, you already know that much of driving safely involves watching out for the other guy, and it’s a lesson to impart to your teenager.
Too many parents make the mistake of only taking their teens driving on local, low-traffic roads in the light of day. For teens to really understand the rudiments of driving and traffic safety, they must experience highway driving, driving at night and during inclement weather, and driving on unfamiliar roads. Real life driving involves these situations, and the best way for your teen to learn to navigate these circumstance is by having a concerned parent along for advice.
Practice, Practice, Practice
If there’s a mantra for teaching your teen to drive, it’s “Practice, practice, practice.” Texas requires just 44 hours of supervised behind the wheel driving, of which 10 must be conducted at night. Ideally, you and your child will spend even more time in driver training, so your teen receives more time behind the wheel and you gain confidence in your teen’s ability.
Use the Driver Education Log Sheet
Parents are responsible for maintaining the Driver Education Log Sheet, a document containing the necessary objectives for course completion. As your teen reaches each driving milestone, you must sign off on the log sheet. When your child is ready to apply for their driver’s license, the sheet is presented to your local Department of Public Safety.
Involved parents keep teens safe. The time you spend training your teen to drive serves as an important bonding experience, but it is so much more. Research shows that teens with involved parents are much less likely to get into car accidents than those lacking strong parental involvement levels. Texas Parent Taught Drivers Ed may prove one of the most critical gifts you’ve ever given your teenager.
Read more of our resources on teen drivers education: