How to Keep Your Teen Driver Safe in SummerApril 28, 2016
For parents of teen drivers, summer time is a potentially worrisome time. Your teen is likely to be working a summer job and, even if they aren’t, odds are still good that they are driving places with less supervision than they typically have. While school is out they spend more time with friends and often drive greater distances to participate in a host of typical summer activities. So as parents, how do you keep your teen driver safe in the summer?
Tips for keeping your teen driver safe
There are many things you can do to keep your teen driver safe when they are behind the wheel. While many teens feel that being able to drive makes them an adult and can subsequently change their attitude and behavior, it’s important to remind them that you’re still in charge. They may have passed their driver’s test, but they are still inexperienced and should slowly build their driving experience. We’ve found some great tips for keeping your teen driver safe and keeping you sane.
Safe Driving Programs
As a parent, one of the best things you can do to keep your peace of mind during the summer is to have your teen take a driver safety course or participate in a driver safety program like Teen SMART. These programs not only help train your teen driver to be safer when they’re behind the wheel. As an added benefit these programs can reduce the cost of your teen driver’s car insurance.
Allow your teen to drive, but with within limits you set
Set firm ground rules and stand by them. They don’t need to be especially restrictive, but they should be rules that are aimed at keeping your teen driver safe. Don’t be afraid to set rules regarding which roads your teen driver may or may not drive on or hours that they cannot drive.
Research suggests that teen drivers are safer during their first year behind the wheel when their peers are not passengers, so don’t hesitate to restrict who may ride with them and when. Nighttime driving is also a major risk factor for teen drivers. For those driving in rural areas, that risk actually begins around dusk as animals like deer and raccoons become active around that time and can pose an additional risk on top of the limited visibility that comes with night driving.
We encourage you to talk to your teen to help them understand that following these rules ensures that they can continue to drive and that breaking the rules means a loss of their driving privileges.
Eliminate distractions for your teen driver
Friends aren’t the only thing that can distract your teen driver while behind the wheel. Everything from their cellphone to the radio can cause them to take their eyes off the road. Be sure to talk to your teen about the dangers of distracted driving. For more information on teen distracted driving, visit Distraction.gov.
Using telematics devices to benefit you both
What if you could get information about your teen’s driving habits and reduce the cost of their car insurance at the same time? If your car insurance provider offers a telematics device (think Progressive’s Snapshot device or In-Drive from State Farm) then you could have both. The telematics device records distance traveled and whether or not there is any hard braking or speeding. If your teen pays for the insurance on their vehicle, then getting them to not only agree to install it, but having them drive safer as a result will be considerably easier than for teens who don’t pay their own insurance. Compare.com found a wonderful article by USA Today on the subject which we would urge you to read if you are interested in such an approach.
Avoid aimless driving
Research shows that teen drivers who aren’t driving with a specific goal such as going to school or work are more likely to be involved in an accident. Keep your teen driver safe by limiting where they drive and why. If they receive permission to go one place and then later on want to go somewhere else, it’s a good idea to have them call a parent to inform them so that arguments and misunderstandings don’t arise later. Clear communication between you and your teen driver is incredibly important.
For more resources on how to keep your teen driver safe this summer, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website.
Car Owner’s Guide
What to do in a hit and run? What steps can you take to prevent auto theft? What can I do to lower my auto insurance payments? Car owners get faced with a lot of questions. Read our Car Owners Guide to make sure you’re getting the most out of your car.