Stage 2: Overview
Locations: Parking lot, garage, residential and city streets
Length of Stage: Per usual, as long as it takes! Check out the Stage 2: Checklist which will guide you as to when it is time to move onto to Stage 3. However, most teens are ready to move on within 2-5 weeks.
At this point in your teen’s driving education, they have become comfortable with the basic operation of the car in the parking lot. In Stage 2, you will begin the transition from the parking lot to low-risk environments such as residential streets. However, there are still more skills to learn in the parking lot, so they’re not done there yet! You may also encounter some city driving in Stage 2.
More Parking Lot Practice
Although you’ve spent considerable time in the parking lot, there is still more to learn. Your teen needs to learn how to drive the car in reverse. There’s also parallel parking as well as more advanced braking techniques that can only be practiced in an empty parking lot.
As soon as you move out of the parking lot, you must begin hammering home the principles of defensive driving because driving is the ultimate “what if” situation.
You may use the example of an infielder playing baseball. Before every pitch, an infielder goes through all of the what-if’s of the next pitch. What if the pitcher throws a wild pitch? What if the ball is hit to me? What if the ball is hit to the second baseman? What about a fly-ball? What if he throws a pick-off attempt to me? He is prepared for every scenario. The same is true with safe, smart, and skillful drivers.
What if the car in front of me suddenly stops? What if this guy who has his turn signal on doesn’t actually turn? What if someone runs this red-light ahead? What if this tractor-trailer decides to change lanes? Your teen needs to be thinking in these terms in order to stay safe.
Space Management System
Part of safe driving is managing the space around your car. This requires that you are aware of everything around you. In order to gather this information, process it, and then make adjustments based upon it, your teen needs to develop a space management system.
The space management system that we recommend is called “SEE”. SEE stands for Search, Evaluate, and Execute. You’ll begin practicing this system with your teen during this stage.
Continue on to Backing Up