You’ve been well aware that your teenager would reach the legal driving age someday; you just didn’t expect it to arrive so soon. Actually, it took about 16 years to get here and now you’re stressing out at the thought of them asking you for the car keys.
If you’re like most concerned parents, your first priority is keeping your teen driver safe. The next thought to rush through your mind is how much your auto insurance company will ding you for adding a teen on your policy. Truth be told – you could be in for an unpleasant surprise when your new rate statement comes in the mail.
Statistics gathered over the past several decades have proven how risky the first several years teenagers spend behind the wheel are. In fact, motor vehicle crashes are blamed as the leading cause of death among 15 – to 20 – year-olds. Furthermore, research shows that over 50 percent of teens killed in crashes were passengers, with the majority not wearing their seatbelt.
A high point in a teenager’s life, getting a driver’s license is also an opportunity to show a newly acquired sense of responsibility. Conversely, for many parents it means sleepless nights and having to dig deeper into their wallet to pay for the adjusted higher premium.
Lack of driving experience and immaturity are both considered major factors in the high rate of crashes among teen drivers. In addition, teenagers lack the judgement that’s associated with experience behind the wheel that allows them to respond safely to hazardous situations that could prevent an accident.
Teens also tend to participate in risky behavior without regard to the consequences. At the top of the list are texting, talking on their cellphones, and talking to friends in the car, instead of concentrating on driving and often not wearing a seatbelt.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, parents can follow the tips below to keep their teens safer behind the wheel.
Choose a vehicle that’s easy to drive with a good safety rating to offer your teen added protection. Avoid handing them the keys to a high performance vehicle, SUV, or truck as these may encourage speeding, recklessness and lead to everything from tickets to rollovers.
Two important things to note here: Not only will additional driving practice benefit your teen, but it can benefit you as well since auto insurance companies look favorably at those who have completed such a course.
Sit down with your teenager and advise them of the dangers associated with the use of alcohol or drugs while driving. At the same time, encourage them to call you in the event of such a situation so they have a safe trip home.
As with alcohol and drugs, your teen’s life is at risk when driving while distracted and impaired. Inform your teen of the hazards they face when using their cellphone, whether to call or text friends.
Whether you know it or not, your teen is watching and learning from you. So avoid driving recklessly, speeding or drinking when they’re in the car. And, wear your seatbelt at all times.
Spend as much time behind the wheel as possible with your teen. The more practice they have, the more situations they can handle without over reacting.
You don’t need practice to find affordable auto insurance, but you can compare. So, why not get a free auto insurance quote today?