Updated: Oct 19
Coaching your teen to drive safely on all roadways is a process that has many phases. You started in a parking lot with lots of open space before moving on to quiet neighborhoods. Eventually, you let your teen drive through town, maybe even during rush hour. It’s important to help your teen navigate all kinds of driving conditions, because it’s guaranteed that they will face it all in the real world.
Highway driving is a key phase in your process. Your teen is looking to you for guidance on how to exercise safe and competent driving skills at higher speeds with multiple decisions to make. Route 309 between Cheltenham and Montgomeryville is a great roadway for practice.
Practice Merging onto Route 309 with Your Teen Driver
Easton Road is busy enough all by itself, which makes it a great spot to merge onto 309 North. Make sure your teen knows how to signal properly, how to check the lanes from the on-ramp, and how to manage speed while merging into the lane.
Remember that this is about practice, so have your teen merge off again at Paper Mill Rd, and then merge back on the highway going either direction. Merging on and off the highway is a bit stressful, so you want to tackle the action several times for your teen to gain confidence. Don’t be afraid to do these lessons in higher traffic times. Traffic is frustrating, of course, but your teen needs to know that it won’t always be an empty highway. The same goes for exits and on-ramps that are under roadwork. Teach your teen to follow the traffic safety cones carefully when there are lane shifts.
Change Lanes with Safe Driving Skills on Route 309
Changing lanes properly is a skill everyone could stand to brush up on. Route 309 is a great place for your teen driver to practice lane changes. Run through the checklist of checking signaling, checking mirrors, blind spots, and making sure not to overcorrect with the steering wheel. You have a nice long stretch of highway to work on this, so take your time and allow for plenty of opportunities for your teen to get comfortable.
Keep an eye out for road work and solid white lines to guide your teen driver through those scenarios as well. Talk about keeping an eye out for people passing on the right, remind your teen to stay right when not passing, and watch that speedometer!
If you head all the way to Montgomeryville on Route 309, your teen can practice changing lanes with traffic lights. The English Village and Mall areas are also great for teaching your teen to deal with unconventional turn lanes and jug handles. Your teen will learn to practice safe driving skills while navigating traffic and maintaining awareness of their surroundings.
Go into these lessons with the expectation that your teen will make mistakes. You still make driving mistakes, don’t you? It happens to all of us. Knowing how to deal with mistakes is part of the learning process. When your teen can’t get to the turn lane, is merging into heavy traffic that won’t allow for lane entry, or misses an exit, take those opportunities to calmly work through recovery and correction. Safe driving is not just about preventing driving problems; it’s also about handling mishaps safely when they do occur.
Are you having a panic attack thinking about getting your teen driver on the highway? Take a deep breath. You can coach your teen to be a safe and experienced driver. Check out our free First Time Driving Behind the Wheel Checklist before you get started so that you can be your teen driver’s best teacher. And if you’re still stressing about teaching your own teen, there’s no shame in bringing in a professional! You can learn more about lessons with Safe Driving Coach here.