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5 Tips to Keep Teens Safe Behind the Wheel

teenage girl driving a car

This week is National Teen Driver Safety Week (October 15 through 21, 2023). Due to various factors, teen drivers have a higher risk of being involved in a crash than older drivers. Parents play an important role in teen driving safety. The following are tips to help keep teenagers safe behind the wheel.

Schedule Driving Practice Sessions With Your Teenager

One of the main risk factors for teen drivers is inexperience. Teens may lack the judgment to allow safe gaps in traffic, turn safely, and travel at the right speeds for conditions. Teen drivers who continue to practice with their parents have a lower risk of being involved in a crash.

Lay Down Ground Rules and Expectations

Parents who sign for their minor children to receive driver’s licenses are legally liable for any damages their children may cause behind the wheel. Before your teenager is allowed to drive, it is important to discuss your rules and expectations. Some parents enter into written agreements with teens to ensure the rules are understood.

Establish when the car can be used, who will pay for gas and insurance, and what the ground rules are. Make it clear to your teen driver that none of the following are allowed:

  • Using cell phones while driving
  • Taking on extra passengers
  • Speeding
  • Alcohol or drug use
  • Driving or riding without a seatbelt

Take Steps to Deter Speeding

Speeding is a major safety issue among teen drivers. In 2021, it was a factor in 32% of passenger vehicle drivers 15 to 18 years old involved in fatal crashes, as reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Studies have shown that speeding increases over time as teen drivers gain confidence. Get involved, monitor your teenager closely, and set a good example by never speeding yourself. Wait to get your teenager his or her own vehicle. According to a study by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), teens are more likely to speed in their own vehicle than in the family car.

Help Prevent Drowsy Driving

With school, extracurricular activities, part-time jobs, and socializing with friends, teens tend to compromise on their sleep. This can lead to drowsy driving, which affects a driver’s alertness, attention, reaction time, judgment, and decision-making capabilities. To reduce the risk of a drowsy driving accident, establish and enforce a regular bedtime, limit the use of electronic devices, and limit nighttime driving.

Set a Good Example

Parents who engage in unsafe driving behavior, such as texting or talking on cell phones while driving, set a bad example for teen drivers. Studies have shown that teens whose parents impose restrictions and set good examples typically engage in less risky driving and are involved in fewer accidents.

When your teenager starts driving, it is essential to have the right auto insurance coverage to protect you from liability. Our knowledgeable agent can help you add a teen driver to your policy and get the coverage you need at the lowest possible cost.

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