When your teen gets behind the wheel, it’s normal to feel a bit of worry coming on. After all, they’re your child and you want them to always be safe. Plus, you have good reason to worry — teen drivers have quite a few age-specific risk factors that make driving a little more dangerous for them. If you’re looking to do whatever you can to help them out and protect their health and safety, here’s the deal on their crash risk factors.
They look to you for modeling
First, your teen is going to do what you do, especially when it comes to your driving habits. You’ll want to make sure that you teach, and model, good behavior. This includes seatbelt wearing, not texting and driving, using your turn signals, and driving defensively. These are all habits that your teen will see and pick up on themselves.
Teens have a habit of not prioritizing these kinds of driving rules at the best of times, so if they see that you practice them, this will make them more likely to follow suit!
Be strict with phone and alcohol use
Many crashes involving teen drivers have to do with distracted driving. Many of them involve phone use. Make sure your teen knows that you have a zero-tolerance policy for phone use in the car. By understanding that you, as their parent, will take away driving privileges if they are caught using their phone while driving, it can often make them think twice and actually help keep the distraction low.
Another common theme is alcohol. Many teens and young adults who can drive feel that they are “okay” to get behind the wheel even after they’ve had a few drinks. If you make it clear that you won’t tolerate any drinking and driving (even if it’s below the legal limit), they will be less likely to do so.
Give them a dry run
Even if they won’t admit it to you, many teens will be mostly excited but a little bit terrified to drive on their own for the first few times. Consider helping them get used to it by giving them easy, short errands. For example, running down to the corner store to pick up a loaf of bread, or going to fill up the car with gas in the evening. You can also take the opportunity to remind them about tips for driving on their own to help them get their feet wet safely.
Make sure they know what to do in the event of a crash
Not only should your teen know what their insurance covers (and doesn’t cover), they should also know a step-by-step procedure of what to do in the case of any kind of accident. It can help keep them safe and within legal bounds, not to mention curb a lot of the fear and panic that is common — especially with teen drivers.
Whether it’s age or just inexperience, teen drivers and young adults have a lot of risk factors associated with them. You can take charge of many of them by using these tips and reminders to help nip a lot of them in the bud!
Contact Paula Smith Insurance at (281) 488-8880 to add your teen to your car insurance policy, to ask questions about your insurance or just to go over your personal insurance coverage. We are here to help you with what you need.