New Teen Drivers: A Guide for Parents

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New Teen Drivers: A Guide for Parents

New Teen Drivers: A Guide for Parents

As a parent, one of the most important things you can do for your teenager is to help them develop good driving habits. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers in the United States. However, by teaching your teen good driving habits early on, you can help reduce their risk of getting into an accident. In this guide, we’ll go over some tips and techniques to help your teen become a safe and responsible driver…AND help you understand the steps to take with your auto insurance policy before they start driving.

Set a Good Example 

Your teen looks up to you, so it’s important that you set a good example when it comes to driving. Make sure that you follow traffic laws and practice safe driving habits at all times. Avoid distractions like texting or talking on the phone while behind the wheel, and always wear your seatbelt. By modeling responsible behavior, you’ll be helping your teen develop good habits from an early age.

Practice Makes Perfect

Practice makes perfect when it comes to driving, so be sure to give your teen plenty of opportunities to get behind the wheel with a licensed adult in the car with them. Start in an empty parking lot or quiet residential street before moving on to busier roads. Encourage your teen to practice different scenarios, such as merging onto highways, navigating roundabouts, and parallel parking.

Talk About Risky Behaviors

Teenagers are more likely than any other age group to engage in risky behaviors while driving, such as speeding or not wearing a seatbelt. Talk openly with your teen about these dangers and explain why they’re so risky. You may also want to consider signing a parent-teen driving agreement that outlines expectations for both parties while your teenager is learning how to drive.

Limit Distractions

Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of accidents among teenagers. Make sure that your teen understands the importance of staying focused while driving and avoiding distractions like texting, talking on the phone, or adjusting the radio. Encourage them to put their phone away while behind the wheel and to only use it in an emergency.

And Parents, This Is For You. Here’s What To Expect When You Add A Teen Driver To Your Policy

  1. Increased Costs: Adding a teenager to an auto insurance policy can significantly increase the annual premium. This is due to the perceived risk associated with new, inexperienced drivers who statistically are more likely to be involved in accidents.
  2. Assignment of Vehicle: Some insurance companies may automatically assign the riskiest driver (in this case, the teen) to the most expensive car. To mitigate this, it’s recommended to assign your teen to the least costly car or consider purchasing a used car with safety features for them.
  3. Need for Immediate Insurance: Once your teen starts driving after they’ve passed their “Temps Test”, they should be added to your car insurance policy immediately. This is not only for their protection but also to safeguard your finances from potential liabilities.
  4. Ask your BWO representative what discounts may be available to you when adding a youthful driver. Some companies offer:
    -Good student discount based of the grades of a student
    -Driver training classes that may reduce premiums
    -Student away discounts for college students that live away from home without a car

Teaching your teen good driving habits is one of the most important things you can do as a parent. By setting a good example, giving them plenty of practice, talking about risky behaviors, limiting distractions, and considering a graduated driver licensing program, you can help reduce their risk of getting into an accident and help them become safe and responsible drivers for life. But, at the same time, this may be a new experience for you from a policy and cost standpoint, as a parent or guardian. It’s best to have a call with a BWO rep before your teen starts Driver’s Education so you are prepared for the next steps and best options for your auto policy, going forward.


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