When your teenager passes the driving test and is issued their driver’s license, the first thing they want to do is get behind the wheel and take off on their own. While you want to give them some freedom, it’s important that they know the rules of the road before they pull out of the yard. In this blog, you’ll find a few of those rules.
Teach your teens the importance of proper insurance. When they first start driving, it’s easiest to put them on your existing policy. This will mean, of course, that your rates will likely increase. Have your teen help you shop around for the best possible deals–including deals on cheap auto insurance if you have bad credit. Teach them how to read and evaluate policy quotes so that they fully understand just how expensive even seemingly small fender-benders can be.
One of the biggest causes of accidents among teens (and others) is texting or talking on cell phones. There have been multiple studies that have proven that using a cellphone while driving has the same effect on a driver as drinking while driving. Many states prohibit using a cell phone at all when driving, so you need to check these laws before having that discussion with your teen driver.
Make it clear that there will be serious consequences if you catch your teen texting, taking selfies or talking on their phone while they’re driving. Explain to them that, if they need to take a call, that they need to pull over into a safe parking area before they answer or call the number back. It’s also important to set a good example by not texting or talking on your phone while driving either.
Many states restrict the number of passengers a teen driver can have in the car when they first get their license. The state may even restrict the ages of the passengers that are allowed in the car as well. Check the restrictions in your particular state and then assign more rules of your own.
One plan of action is to not allow any passengers when your teen first starts driving, then allow them to add passengers as they become more comfortable behind the wheel and gain some experience. While they may feel that you’re being mean or overprotective, passengers in the car are something most teens can’t deal with when they first get their license, as they can be a huge distraction.
Driving While Impaired
Drinking and driving is still considered to be one of the main reasons for teen death in most states. Talking to your teen about drinking and driving can be a tricky subject, because no parent wants to think about their teens drinking, to begin with. Encourage your teen to call you for a ride if they decide to drink at a party. Let them know that there will be no judgments made and that they won’t get into trouble. It’s better to be alert and ready to pick up your child than get a phone call that they are in the emergency room or worse. Driving while drinking or under the influence of drugs is considered a serious offense in every state, so make sure that you let your child know the laws and that, if they break those laws, they could end up in jail or worse.
After explaining and laying down the rules for what they can and can’t do with their newfound independence, make sure to enforce the consequences if your child does anything that jeopardizes their health. Showing your teen statistics can only go so far, rules have to be enforced as well.
These are just a few of the top rules that you should talk about and enforce for your new teen driver. Remember, being safe is the top priority!