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Tips for parents teaching teen drivers

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(Copyright 2016 CNN)

It can seem like a daunting task for parents, doing their best to make sure that their teenager driver is as prepared as possible before handing over the keys.

News 6 reporter Amy Biondello spoke to Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Steve Montiero to get tips for parents with new drivers.

Distracted driving is as big of an issue as ever. Limiting distractions is vital for all drivers regardless of age or experience, said Montiero.

When it comes to new drivers, practice and preparation are also at the top of the list.

Montiero recommended parents take advantage of a learner’s license and get their teens driving, practicing with an adult for as long as they can before they head out solo.

“Here in Florida, we have the benefit of your child getting a learner's license," Montiero said. "And that exactly is to do that, to learn how to drive.”

Logging supervised hours behind the wheel can help build confidence, which is good for new drivers and everyone around them.

Parents can start out slow with their teen drivers, but getting real-world and high-pressure practice driving is key.

“We want parents not only to teach your child to learn in a parking lot but here in Florida, we have highways. We have large interstates. We need to have our teen drivers learning how to merge, how to get up to speed and how to get on the interstate.” 

Montiero recommended parents have their teens get the high-stress experience before they are driving on their own.

Experts say parents shouldn't be afraid to hit the highway with their teenage drivers, but only when they’re ready.

“Merging in a parking lot at 20 mph does not prepare you to merge onto I-4 at 65 or 70 mph,” Montiero said.

It’s all about preparation and practice.

“Prepare your teen driver for real world situations,” Montiero said.