Having a teenager start driving makes any parent nervous. Not just out of worry for their safety but also out of worry for your auto insurance rates. By setting some basic ground rules from the start, you can protect both your teenager and your car insurance rates.
1. Follow the Law
This sounds simple, but think about how you drive. Speeding, rolling red lights or stop signs, following too close to keep other drivers out of your lane, using your cellphone and other bad habits all set an example for your teenager.
You may think that your bad habits are no big deal, but deep down inside, you probably know they're at least a little dangerous. With an inexperienced teen driver, they can become even more dangerous.
2. No Phones at All
No matter what your state law says about phone use while driving, don't let your teenager use a phone in any way. Even a hands-free voice call can add distractions that a new driver just doesn't need. While millions of drivers may do it successfully every day, your goal is still to eliminate distractions.
3. Set a Curfew to Leave Not Arrive
If you give your teenager a specific time to get home by, you risk them speeding or taking other dangerous measures to get home on time. You may say they should have left earlier, but they're still going to leave late and try to keep you from finding out. Set a time they need to leave to head home instead.
4. Amnesty if They Can't Drive Home
There's a chance your teenager may be at a party with alcohol. You don't want them to risk driving drunk home and trying to sneak in. While you may be upset at them for drinking, they need to know they can call you if they need to get home safely.
5. No Passengers
New drivers shouldn't have passengers for the first several months. When you were in the passenger seat teaching them to drive, you were helping them learn and forcing them to be more attentive.
Friends create a distraction and, directly or indirectly, encourage risk-taking behaviors to seem cool.
By following these rules, you'll increase the chances of your teenager getting home safely and not increasing your car insurance rates.
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