Top Tips about Teen Driving this School Year

A person driving.

It can be liberating for the whole family when a teenage son or daughter finally gets their license. No more hauling them to every soccer game and after-school event. However, teen driving brings certain responsibilities and vulnerabilities, as well. Here are a few statistics to keep in mind next time you toss your teen driver the keys to your car:

  • In the United States, the fatal crash rate for 16- to 19 year-olds is nearly three times the rate for drivers ages 20 and over. Those aged 16 to 17 are especially at risk.
  • Male drivers make up two thirds of the teen crash fatality rate.
  • Although teens drink and drive less frequently than adult drivers, they are more likely to crash when they mix drinking and driving.

The good news is that parents, guardians and older relatives can exert a lot of positive influence over the education and safety of newer drivers in their family. Here are some things you and the young drivers in your family should keep in mind.

Make Sure Your Teen Knows – and Follows – Safety Protocol

There are many details that even adult drivers should be reminded of from time to time to ensure they are safe and responsible behind the wheel. Make sure your teenager knows and follows safety protocol. Here are a few places to start:

  1. As part of their driving practice, they should have a pre-start routine so they’re not adjusting the mirrors while waiting at a light.
  2. Adjust settings such as seat position so they can comfortably reach the pedals, and rear view mirror and side mirrors to give them the ideal range of view.
  3. Most auto accidents are caused by distracted drivers. Make sure your teen knows not to use their cell phone while driving. Drowsiness and noise are also common distractions, so try to make sure they don’t eat while driving or drive with overly active passengers.
  4. They should familiarize themselves with the various functions of the car they will be driving – including the lights on the dashboard and instrument panel signal, windshield wipers, headlights/brights and recommended tire pressure, as well as how to fill them. They may want to learn to open the hood, check the oil levels and other basic car maintenance.
  5. In addition to making sure they understand traffic laws and consequences of breaking them, you may want to limit their nighttime driving and how much they drive with friends.

What Else Can Parents Do to Help Their Kids Be Safer Drivers?

Good driving behavior begins at home, and parents can do many things to set a good example for their children. It’s helpful to talk to your kids about issues such as speeding, driving recklessly, and other dangerous types of behavior. Teens will pick up better habits when their parents are also calm, responsible drivers. You will need to make restrictions and rules and enforce them. Communication helps! Parents often need to repeat rules and guidelines, so expect to have similar conversations more than once.

In addition, be sure you understand the laws in your own state so you can discuss them with your child. Most states enforce Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) laws, which restrict driving privileges for young drivers. The details vary by state. Find out what limits exist in your state:

It’s important for your teen to understand the rules in your state, as well as the consequences for breaking them. Believe it or not, they do listen – even when it seems like they don’t.

Contact AZ Auto About Insuring Your Teen Driver

Finally, be sure you have the proper insurance plan to cover your teen driver. There are many insurance options, and an agent at AZ Auto can help ensure that you have the best plan to protect your whole family.

Interested in finding out more about insuring and protecting your teen driver? Call AZ Auto today for a FREE insurance quote today to get a policy that match your needs.