(BPT) - Do you remember the feeling of getting your driver's license? Excited? Nervous? Eager to get on the road and drive? All of those? Now, it’s your teen’s turn to get a driver's license. To help you start your teen on the right foot, we offer you six tips to prepare him or her for responsible driving that will also give you peace of mind. You can find more detailed information at AutoInsurance.com/Teens.
1) Top of the list: a parent-teen driving contract
Drawn up between parents and teens, a parent-teen driving contract outlines state laws and safe driving habits that teens will agree to adhere to. Include safety requirements in the contract such as curfew (most accidents happen at night), speed, number of passengers, no electronic device or phone use while driving, seat belt use, and distracted driving rules. Have your teen take a defensive driving course, as well, to further ingrain safe driving habits.
2) Technology to ensure safe driving
Double down on your contract with safe driving technology for teens. Many cars today have safety features, unheard of several years ago. But, today, parents have more control over teens’ driving with safe driver technology. Using the smart technology in the car and your mobile device, you can keep an eye on your teen’s speed, curfew, and miles driven. You’ll also find features that improve safety from stability control, to backup monitors, and more.
3) Drive home the rules of the road
A learner’s permit is the first step to a driver's license. Beyond quizzing your teen about driving rules, it’s important that teens understand that there are limitations for inexperienced drivers. These restrictions include curfews, supervision, number and age of passengers, among others. In addition, penalties tend to be harsher for traffic violations and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Help them understand the rules and why they matter.
4) School your teen on distracted driving
Inexperience coupled with distractions are accidents waiting to happen. Help your teens understand that attention to the road is more important than their phone, the radio, the passenger in the back seat, and the beverage in the cup holder. Let them know the importance of keeping eyes and minds on the road, and hands on the wheel at all times. Accidents can happen in a split second.
5) Find good teen driver insurance
Insurance costs for new drivers run higher than costs for experienced drivers with good driving records. You may be able to lower the cost of car insurance for teens if you add them to your policy. Having a safe technology car and giving your teen defensive driving lessons can also ease the financial burden. Plus, get buy-in from your teen to help with car maintenance and insurance costs. Discuss the costs of driving and maintaining a car, and teach them budgeting to help split the costs, which, in turn, will make them feel more responsible.
6) Model good driving behaviors
It's important to model good driving as an experienced driver. Combine that with a parent-teen contract, making teens aware of the financial requirements of driving and the costs of distracted driving, and you’ll know you’ve done your best to prepare them to be responsible drivers.