Mother showing teen his driving report
By Jana Rhodes / Posted June 1, 2015

Why You Should Keep a Driving Log for Your Teen

Your teen has passed the permit test, and it’s time to start practicing. Now what? No one ever trained you to become a driving instructor. You might feel a little overwhelmed with the responsibility. You are not alone; most parents wonder how to make sure that their teens are prepared for a license. A driving log is a great way to keep track of your child’s progress over time.

There are many great reasons to keep a driving log.

It is required by most states.

Only four states (Arkansas, Mississippi, New Jersey, and South Dakota) do not require a specific number of training hours before testing for a license. The other 46 plus the District of Columbia require anywhere from 20 to 65 hours of driving practice. Most require a certain portion of those hours to be at night or under specific weather conditions. You can check your state’s requirements at Governor’s Highway Safety Association’s chart of licensing laws. If you live in a state that doesn’t require a driving log, there are still benefits to keeping one.

You can ensure they are prepared for multiple driving conditions.

It’s easy to forget what the weather was like the last five times that you practiced, and most of us are naturally inclined to go out when the weather is mild. If you only practice on beautiful sunny afternoons, your teen might be apprehensive when its time to drive home and it’s raining. A driving log forces you to be aware of how many different conditions your teen has experienced so that you can fill in the gaps.

Your teen will feel more confident for the test.

Lots of practice instills confidence, which will reduce nervous feelings and help your teen focus during the licensing test. If that practice has included several challenging conditions, he will be less likely to be shaken by unexpected obstacles. A driving log is a great way to make sure your teen is fully prepared for the test.

You will feel more comfortable when your teen drives alone.

Nothing will keep you from worrying about your teen the first day that you watch him drive away alone. However, if the two of you have practiced for many hours in varying situations, you might just be able to handle it. Make the most of the practice time now so that you can worry less when you finally release your teen to drive alone.

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