If your teenager is learning to drive, you may feel both overwhelmed and nervous. Putting a teenager behind the wheel can be nerve-racking for parents – and justifiably so. Teenagers are three times as likely to crash as those aged 20 and over. Being a new driver comes with new experiences, and the inexperience on the roads can cause accidents that are both minor and major. Luckily, there are things you can do to help keep your child safe.
Set an example
Show your child what it takes to be a good driver. Kids will often copy behavior that is around them. If you are texting at stoplights, tailgating other drivers, and failing to use your signal, you can expect your teen driver to pick up these same habits. Arguably the most important action to protect your teen on the roads is to set an example of a good driver by being one yourself.
Drive as much as possible with them when they have their permit
The more experience they have on the road with a supervisor, the better. You are there to instruct them on how to handle situations and encourage them to build their confidence. When teenagers are let loose on the roads, accidents happen. It’s best to ensure they have maximum practice before they hit the road solo.
Limit their passenger count
Teenagers have a way of encouraging each other to do stupid things, even behind the wheel of a car. Teen drivers may also want to look more experienced to their friends by performing dangerous moves or picking up their phone while driving. Friends can be distracting, so it’s best to limit the number of people they can drive until they build up their experience and confidence. Talk to your kids about tuning out their friends while they’re driving.
Limit their drive time
It’s known that some of the worst accidents happen during rush hour traffic and late at night. For this reason, it’s wise to prevent your teen driver from driving during these times. Instead, let them drive throughout the day and set a curfew of when they need to be home by. The dark nights mean that objects, pedestrians, and other vehicles can be hard to see, which is when new drivers tend to struggle. Prevent accidents by limiting your child’s driving time.
Take steps to prevent texting and driving
Although everyone knows that using a phone behind the wheel is a dangerous situation, your teen driver who is new to the roads may not respect it. Consider explaining why this is so dangerous and the consequences of it. Ask them to put their phone away – out of reach – before they turn on the engine. Be sure to practice what you preach; if kids see you texting at the wheel, they won’t take you seriously when you insist they don’t.
Teen drivers will need auto insurance so talk to your insurance agent about adding them to your policy. Since they come with a high risk of accidents and incidents, you may see your premium jump up to begin with. Ask your insurer if your teen could be eligible for a good student discount or if there are any ways to save money. Ensure you have enough coverage so that incidents are covered if the worst does happen on the roads.
Get the right auto insurance in place before your teen starts driving. Visit the professionals at McCarty Insurance to get started on your tailored coverage. We can help you understand the ins and outs of your chosen policy.