Getting a license to drive is a huge and thrilling milestone in a teen’s life! For parents, adding a new driver to their auto insurance policy is usually less thrilling and more anxiety-inducing. You want your teen to feel confident out on the road and you want to know they’re making smart choices, so what can you do to stress less and help them drive better?
Here are some useful tips to share with your teen to help them make safe driving choices.
Encourage healthy cellphone habits
While it is illegal to text while driving in Florida, it’s not illegal to talk on the phone. The Florida DMV does, however, urge drivers to limit phone use to emergencies and to invest in a hands-free device. They recommend knowing the features of your phone and using speed dial so the eyes stay on the road and not on the phone.
You might really want to reach your teen, but you don’t want them to risk their safety answering your, “Are you coming home for dinner?” text. Talk to them about the importance of waiting until they are parked before answering any phone or text messages. Your tech savvy teen might even already know how to set up an auto-response feature on their phone, but if not you can show them this.
Also, remind your teen to save those emotional or stressful phone conversations with friends for another time and to never talk on the phone when the weather and road conditions are hazardous.
This is not a circus. The vehicle is not a clown car
Now that your teen is reveling in his or her newfound freedom, it’s likely they’re eager to cruise around with friends and give rides to everyone they know. While they can probably fit a lot of bodies in one vehicle, overcrowding a car is a recipe for distraction. It’s also unlawful.
Remind your teen that they can legally only transport as many passengers as they have seatbelts for in their car and that limiting passengers to just one or two friends reduces distractions.
Plan and don’t rush
Nudge your new driver toward advance trip planning. Leaving even ten minutes early lets drivers reach their destination without speeding and allows for any traffic surprises. Depending on your teen’s age, there are certain times at night when they can’t be on the road. Check out this link and discuss night time curfews where applicable.
It’s important for your teen to understand they fall in the highest risk group for auto accidents.
Even a minor fender bender can send their monthly car insurance premium skyrocketing and keep it high for years to come. Let them know if they plan ahead and don’t rush, they not only reduce their risk of a car accident but also the cost of auto insurance.
Be a defensive driver not an aggressive one
We all know someone who claims they suffer from “road rage”, right? Warn your teen about potential road situations that could lead to frustration and rage. Remind your teen to never follow another vehicle too closely. If they get tailgated, they should remain calm and try to move into another lane as soon as it is safe to do so. This is a good time to also review how to properly use the car horn as a defensive tool (i.e. when another car doesn’t see you and is about to merge into your lane and hit you).
You can help your teen stay safe from predators by making sure they know to drive to the nearest police station, instead of driving home, if they ever fear they’re being followed.
You want your new driver protected against whatever comes their way out there and Synergy Insurance wants to help. Call us today to speak with one of our friendly and helpful agents for more information about car insurance or go here for a Free Quote.
Would your teen know what to do if they were involved in a car accident? Make sure they’re prepared for the worst by downloading our Auto Accident Workbook! This free guide easily folds to fit into any car compartment, meaning they’ll have it on hand if they ever need it.