Teens and Cars: Read This Before Your Teen Gets Behind the Wheel
Harrowing, but liberating!
Many parents of new drivers often report harrowing experiences while teaching their teens to drive. How they wish they really did have a secondary brake pedal on the passenger side! Many also feel the liberation of getting a break from shuttling their non-driving kids around to sports, school activities, and events. Getting your license is a rite of passage — one that all parents should adequately prepare for by securing car insurance for their teens first. Half of teen drivers will experience an accident before they graduate high school. Take every precaution by following these simple tips to keep your teen driver road safe.
New drivers may feel like they are driving a bumper car in their high school parking lot, and for good reason. Many teens’ first accidents occur in parking lots. Have your kids practice driving (and parking!) in crowded parking lots with you to get completely comfortable with parking lot etiquette before heading out solo.
Here are a few more tips for new drivers:
- Keep your music off so you can focus all of your attention on the road and not on your playlist.
- Changing lanes means looking over your shoulder (not just in your side view and rear view mirrors), especially on the freeway.
- Pre-plan your trip so that you know where you are going before you head out.
- Lead by example – don’t engage with your phone while driving, and instill this discipline in your kids as well. (The National Safety Council reports 1.6 million accidents happen each year due to phone use while driving.)
- Road rage is REAL – Remain calm when you’re at the wheel, and dismiss or ignore irate and inconsiderate drivers.
Many families draw up a contract to cover expected conduct while driving, which includes no alcohol or drugs, and no cell phone use while driving. If parents find out that their teen has driven after drinking, they lose the right to drive the car – either for the duration of high school or for a specified time.
Your new teen driver can drive you home AFTER their imposed curfew (be sure to check your state’s DMV for official curfew), but NOT if the adult has been drinking. By law, the responsible adult must be able to legally take control of the car if necessary (after curfew).
Knowing when to let go
Parenting is a blend of encouraging independence, setting a good example, all the while knowing when to protect your children. As kids grow into young adults, parents need to find alternative ways to teach valuable life skills. This could involve leading by example, or even by failure. Keep an open dialog and try not to be harsh or criticize. Kids in the teen years are typically fairly hard on themselves so they don’t need parents to pile it on as well. As we all know too well, experience is the best teacher – getting involved in an accident with mom or dad could ultimately be a learning experience!
Finding the best way to deliver these “life skills” messages is the key to raising a young adult who makes good choices, on the road, and in life.
How much car insurance do I need for a new driver?
See the link below or call Cost-U-Less at 800-390-4071 for a free quote on car insurance for teens: