Here comes the scary part, YOUR TEEN IS NOW DRIVING!
Its very important for teens to understand that because they have earned a drivers license, that
does not make them a good driver. Only over time with experience do we become good drivers.
Teens also need to understand that they can lose their license as fast as they got it. Driving is a
privilege, not a right. After teens drive on their own, they get a sense of freedom, and tend to take
risks, hoping that their parents never find out.
Teen Drivers At More Risk
Drivers 15 to 19 years old have very high traffic accident, injury, and conviction rates. Traffic
accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers. If you are under 18 years old, your risk
of a fatal accident is about 2 1/2 times that of the “average” driver. Your risk of an injury accident
is three times higher than the average driver. The main reason is in experience.
Nearly half of all new drivers 15 to 19 are convicted of a traffic violation in their first year of driving.
Speeding (which often results in loss of vehicle control) is the most common moving violation for
teenage drivers. About 50% of all their traffic convictions are speed violations.
Anyone, who is a parent, was once a teenager, and know how it is. The added problems we
have, are more cars on the road, and not adequate roadways for the amount of vehicles. People
on the road are overly stressed out and impatient. Ohhhh! and the cell phones!
It’s up to parents to make sure they have done everything in their power to make their teen be
the best he/she can be. This takes lots of patience and lots of practice time. Also make sure
you enforce the laws with your teen, of not having other people under 20 in the vehicle for
the first 6 months that they drive.
Driving At Night
According to research by the Allstate Insurance Company, approximately two out of three traffic
deaths occur at night. ” The risks of night driving, with limited visibility and changed perceptions,
are much higher. And its a fact that there are more people driving under the influence at night.
Again, make sure you spend time with your teen driving at night. They need to become familiar
with the glare of oncoming lights, and adjusting speed because of reduced visibility.
Keep your Teenager Responsible For His/Her Own Actions
Teens tend to have a sense of freedom after acquiring their drivers license. Teach them not to
be late, this an easy excuse for speeding.
Make sure their keeping their grades up and any other sign that their not being responsible. Its
easy as parents to lose sight of their time after they get a drivers license. Always know where
their spending their time and with whom.
Parents need to set clear guidelines with their teen. No passengers in the car. No cell phones
on while driving. No eating while they drive. These are all hard things to monitor. Distractions
are blamed on 30% of all traffic accidents among teens.
Parents should always control the keys. You can use driving privileges as leverage. You have
a powerful negotiation tool with driving privileges. The teen driver should be expected to ask
permission before taking the car. Also, make your teen responsible of taking care of the car,
this includes keeping clean both inside and out. Making sure there is gas in the vehicle for
others to use.
Purchasing Insurance For Your Teenage Driver
There is no way around it, insuring your teen is expensive. There are ways to cut cost. It is less
expensive if you put your teen on your existing policy. Most insurance companies give discounts
for students with a “B” grade average. Also insurance companies give discounts if your teen
goes to their office and watches a defensive driving program.
Its worth asking your agent if they offer this program. Last but not least it has been proven that
teens who help pay for their own insurance tend to have less accidents. Parents should consider
adding a million dollar umbrella policy on their homeowners insurance. This will help pay for
anything your automobile insurance won’t cover.
Life Savers For Parents And Teenagers
• Review with your teen what to do in case of an accident
• Keep an (SR1) accident report form in the glove box
• Keep a disposable 35 mm camera in the glove box to take pictures at the scene of the accident
• Review what to do in case of an accident.
• Make sure your teen has a medical ID card in his wallet
• Make sure your teen has your insurance agents business card in his wallet
• Make sure your teen as update proof of insurance in the glove box
• Put an emergency kit in the trunk with duct tape, jumper cables, flashlights, & emergency triangles.
• Keep a list of all emergency numbers in your teens car.
• Make sure they carry a cell phone or pager for emergencies
• Keep a spare key hidden outside the vehicle in a magnetic key box