5 Safe Driving Tips for Your Teenager

Young drivers suffer from inexperience. As a skilled, older driver, you may have the ability to react faster. You understand better how a car reacts in wet conditions. You know how much distance to leave between vehicles. Teens do not know this. To minimize the risk of auto insurance claims, work to educate your teen on these and other factors.

#1: Safety Means the Right Environment

Teach teens that to be safe, they need to focus on driving--Only driving, that is. Keep cell phones in the back seat. Turn off the radio (at least at first). Don’t change stations. Keep just one other passenger in the vehicle. And, hold off on intense conversations until you arrive at the destination.

#2: Driving Distance Matters

The more distance between two vehicles, the more room your teen has to stop. Most experts recommend at least two vehicle lengths between cars. As a new driver, encourage your teen to stay even further back. Don’t tail others too closely. There is no time for your teen to react.

#3: Protecting the Vehicle

Keeping a vehicle safe while parked is important, too. Teach your teen to lock doors. Discuss the benefits of car alarms. Talk about how to use them and when. It may also be a good time to discuss how to protect yourself as a driver. For example, teens need to be in the habit of checking the backseat of a car before getting into it. Others might even go so far as to carry pepper spray, mace or Tasers with them.

#4: Be Sure the Car Is Ready

A short walk around the outside of the vehicle sheds light on concerns. Do the tires have proper inflation? Teach your teen how to know. Be sure lights are working. Your teen also should know when the car warning lights and funny sounds appear. Discuss what types of sounds can occur and why.

#5: Know How to React

The hardest part of any driving lesson is teaching your teen to react when something does go wrong. He or she should know how to call the police and their car insurance agent. They also need to know how to move the vehicle to the side of the road. Discuss how to apply first aid.

Every one of these tips is important. Yet, many parents make the mistake of not communicating about them. Consider a few driving courses. Discuss the benefits of a defensive driving course. Your auto insurance may even help with this cost through a discount.