My son is grown already, past the teen years, but I still remember the scary days when he was a teen driver. If you are like me, having an inexperienced driver, or your teen being a passenger who rides with an inexperienced driver, will keep you awake at night until they are home safe.
Some things to remember is that all teenagers mature differently – not all teens are mature enough to handle a drivers license at the same age. Consider whether your teen is easily distracted, nervous or a risk taker before allowing them to get a license.
We as parents play a big role in keeping our teen drivers safe. Make some rules with your teen whether verbal or written for them to abide by.
- Buckle up, every person, front and back, every single time.
- Keep your cell phone off/silent while driving. Multiple studies indicate using a cell phone while driving is the equivalent of driving drunk – that includes even when using a hands-free phone.
- Don’t Text. Don’t even try the “texting-while-stopped” approach. When you have your head down, you wont notice what is going on around you. You still need to pay attention to your surroundings even while stopped.
- Obey the Speed Limit – Speeding is a major contributor to fatal teen accidents. Driving a safe speed ensures your well-being and keeps you away from costly tickets.
- Limit Distractions. Eating, drinking, flipping the radio dial, all can cause your vision to wander, even for a few seconds.
- Drive solo. Having a single teen passenger in your car can double the risk of causing a car accident. Having additional teen passengers causes the risk to rise.
- Nightime driving takes more experience and skill. We need to give our teen plenty of supervised practice driving at night and in all kinds of weather and different situations.
- No drinking alcohol and driving. There is no safe amount of alcohol a teen can drink before driving. It is against the law.
- Turn on your headlights. Using your headlights increases your visibility and helps other drivers see you, even if you feel like it’s light outside.
As parents we need to be a good role model. New drivers learn by example, so if you drive recklessly, your teenage driver may imitate you. Always wear your seatbelt and never drink and drive.
Finally, some car insurance companies will give you a discount if you have your teen take an approved defensive driving course to improve their driving skills an additional discount if they maintain a 3.0 or higher grade average.
Feel free to contact the Wren Insurance Agency if you have any questions or concerns.