If you're like many parents, the thought of your teenager getting behind the wheel of a car may scare you-"and there is evidence that it should. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), 16-year-olds get into accidents almost 10 times more often then drivers between the ages of 30 and 59.
However, good driving can help prevent accidents, regardless of age. To help you stay at ease and keep your teen driver safe, we compiled some important teen driving safety tips. Learn how you can be a role model for good driving behavior and the best way to save money on new driver car insurance.
Know and Practice the Traffic Laws
Your teen took driver's education, so they should know all the laws and rules of the road, right? Not exactly. Even though your teen may have learned the laws, that doesn't always mean they remember them. By practicing and reviewing your city's or town's driving laws, your teen driver will have a better understanding of the laws and be able to apply the laws when it's their turn to drive solo.
Be a Good Role Model
If your teen driver sees you're speeding or driving aggressively, they're going to do the same. So if you're going to talk the talk, you better walk the walk! Not only will this help make your teen become a better driver, it will also help improve your driving skills as well.
Let Your Teen Do the Driving
Next time you're going to the store or to the movies, let your teen do the driving. This will not only give them the extra driving practice, it will also let you see how they're doing behind the wheel. As a passenger, you'll also get the opportunity to correct any bad teen driving habits your son or daughter may be developing.
Enroll Your Teen in a Defense Driving Course
While requirements vary, each state requires a combination of text book and on-road training for new drivers. Equipping students with the necessary skills to understand the distractions within and outside a car, the effects of inclement weather on vehicle handling and driver impairments are just a few of the topics covered. Teen Driving Courses can be taken online or in a classroom.
You may also consider enrolling your teen in a Defensive Driving Course as a refresher to their licensing class. Courses will review general vehicle safety tips and road rules, traffic signals and how to handle a car in bad weather conditions. To find out more, visit www.IDriveSafely.com or contact your local DMV. Insurance discounts may be available upon completing a course.
Finding the Perfect Car for Your Teen
Your teen wants a new SUV, you want them to have an older, compact car-"guess what: you're both wrong. According to the IIHS, parents should pick a car that offers good crash protection and safety features. To help you find the safest car for your new driver, check out the Vehicle Ratings.
Limit Nighttime Driving
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 42% of teen deaths from motor vehicle crashes occur on Friday, Saturday or Sunday nights, between the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. So restricting your child's nighttime driving may be one of the best things you can do to help keep your child safe and secure.
Restrict the Number of Passengers Allowed in the Car
According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), teen driving crash rates increase by 50% with just one teen passenger in the car, and by 400% with three or more teen passengers. All the more reason to restrict the number of passengers allowed in the car while your teen is driving. While it may not seem fair to your new young driver, it could help keep them out of harm's way.
Turn Off the Cell Phone
The best advice you could give your teen is to turn their cell phone off while driving. If they need to take a call while in the car, advise them to pull off to the side of the road, put the car in park and then talk.
Safety is vital for all drivers! That is why it is important to remind teens to wear their seat belts while driving-"a small tip that could help save their life.
Parent/Teen Driving Agreement
To prevent constant fighting over the car, the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center has developed a Parent/Teen Driving Agreement. This agreement outlines specific car rules and conditions for your new teen driver, while establishing some rules for you as well.
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Originally posted September 6, 2006.
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