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Five Driving Safety Tips To Teach Your Teenage Driver

By Rstaib Posted : 10/09/2009

Understanding the ground rules and exercising caution may prevent speeding tickets, fender-benders, and high insurance rates on auto liability and comprehensive auto coverage, and more importantly, save lives. Here are five important driving safety tips that every teen should know.

Driving Safety Tip #1: Drive defensively

Teenage driving is synonymous with inexperience and unnecessary risk-taking on the road. That's a dangerous combination. Tell your teen that skillful drivers anticipate what others will do and keep their emotions in check. Teach your teen to:

  • Use directional signals for both turns and lane changes.
  • Change lanes only when necessary (don't weave in and out of traffic).
  • Avoid tailgating other drivers.
  • Check his or her ego at the door. It's not a personal affront if someone passes or follows too closely.
  • Slow down at yellow lights.
  • Proceed cautiously through green lights. Look left, right, and ahead for drivers who may be turning or running a red light.
  • Give a wide berth to aggressive or erratic drivers.
  • Carefully watch weather conditions and slow down in bad weather and at night.

Driving Safety Tip #2: Limit distractions

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 25 percent of crashes happen because drivers are distracted. Putting in a CD, changing radio stations, or even talking to friends can take your teen's attention off the road. Teach your teen to pull over before placing (or receiving) a call, even if their cell phone has a hands-free option. And set a limit on the number of passengers your child can have in his or her car.

Driving Safety Tip #3: Buckle up for driving safety

Stress the importance of wearing a seat belt and set a good example yourself. Most state laws require everyone age four years and older to be properly secured in safety belts. Teens who don't wear seat belts put their lives at risk. They should also learn to wear their seat belts properly. The lap belt should fit snugly across the pelvis, and the shoulder belt should lie across the chest with little slack. And don't start driving until all passengers have buckled up as well.

Driving Safety Tip #4: Don't drink and drive

While you shouldn't condone teen drinking, you can't completely ignore it either. You should openly discuss the serious consequences of drinking and driving with your teen. Teach your teen to avoid riding with friends who have been drinking. You may want to tell your teen that you'll give them a ride home anytime without consequences if the alternative is to ride with a friend who has been drinking. You should also discuss the consequences of getting behind the wheel even after one or two drinks. Even if your teen is pulled over without first causing an accident, a drunken driving conviction can mean license suspension, probation or jail time, high auto insurance rates, and thousands of dollars worth of fines.

Driving Safety Tip #5: Obey the speed limit

Many drivers ignore posted speed limits, and the consequences can be deadly. According to the NHTSA, the odds of dying or being injured in a crash double for every 10 mph a driver speeds over 50 mph. In addition, a speeding ticket can cost hundreds of dollars in fines and even result in license suspension. Even a minor accident can increase auto insurance rates dramatically for years to come. So teach your teen to obey the speed limit, even if other drivers are going faster.

You'll always worry about your kids, but you can alleviate your concerns somewhat by teaching them to drive safely. Keep them protected with auto liability insurance and comprehensive auto coverage at affordable rates that work with your budget. Insurance.com offers fast, accurate comparison quotes from over 12 top insurance companies so you can save more and have peace of mind.

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