From teaching your teen to drive, to keeping him or her safe in the years that follow, parenting a young driver is a big responsibility. Getting a driver’s license should not be a get it and forget it experience. Parents must play a proactive role in protecting their teen in the early years of driving.
Below you will find our quick guide to better teen driving and how it might save you money on car insurance for your teen.
Learn the Facts, and Do Something about It
As a parent, you need to know the statistics so you can help your teen keep from becoming a statistic. Your teen’s safety on the road is a matter of life and death.
- Auto accidents are the number one cause of death for teens over age 15.
- More than half of teens killed in car accidents were not wearing seatbelts.
- Driving is more dangerous for teens after 9 p.m. and when one or peers are in the car.
- 15-19 year-old drivers are more likely than others to be distracted at the time of crashes.
Using this data, parents can create rules for their teen drivers and know what to look out for. Wisconsin graduated driver’s license laws help address some of the issues, but parental involvement is the key.
Be Patient, Help Others be Patient, and Teach Your Teen to be Patient, Too
Driving is a learned skill that takes years of practice. It can be a frustrating experience at times for both you and your teen. Patience is the key to surviving this tumultuous time, and as a parent, you have to lead by example.
Regardless of how nerve-racking it is to teach your teenager how to drive or correct his mistakes, remember that the more time he has behind the wheel with you now, the safer he will be when driving alone later. Continue to drive with your teen on a regular basis, even when he or she is licensed to drive alone. It may be inconvenient, but it could save a life.
Keep in mind that other drivers may become frustrated with teens in their early years of driving. To avoid run-ins, try practicing with your teen in low-traffic areas outside of peak commuting hours. Empty parking lots are a great place to help your teen clock some low-risk time behind the wheel. You can also post a sign on the back of your vehicle to let other drivers know your teenager is a novice driver.
Keep Your Cool
Approximately 1 in 5 teens that die in car accidents had alcohol in their system at the time of the crash. Despite laws preventing underage drinking, young people still have easy access to alcohol. More than 1 in 4 reports having been to an adult-supervised party where alcohol was made available to minors. It isn’t just drunk driving that is the problem, either. Prescription drugs, marijuana, and other illicit drugs can all impair judgment.
The last thing you want is your teenager behind the wheel of a vehicle when he or she is inebriated. You also don’t want them getting into a car with another driver who is intoxicated. So what is your teen to do if an unsafe situation like this occurs?
Experts recommend giving your teen an ‘out’ ahead of time. One of the main reasons teens drink and drive is out of fear of getting in trouble. However, your teen may be more likely to call for a ride if he or she does not fear to do so. While there may be consequences for breaking household rules, there are still some ways you can address the situation and provide an incentive for safety. Let your teen know that drinking and driving will always result in immediate loss of a driver’s license, but calling for a ride will not.
Teens are high-risk drivers, so naturally car insurance for teens is a little more expensive than the average driver’s policy is. However, that does not mean you should consider dropping or reducing your teen’s coverage. Gaps in coverage can harm your teen’s experience getting insurance in the future. Furthermore, getting rid of certain coverage types altogether, such as collision and comprehensive, could leave you with significant losses in the event of an accident.