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Your Family & Insurance

Safety Tips for Teen Drivers

If you're like many parents, the thought of your teenager getting behind the wheel of a car may scare you - and there is evidence that it should. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), 16-year olds are 10 times more likely to get into accidents than drivers between the ages of 30 and 59. However, good driving can help prevent accidents, regardless of age. To help you keep your teen driver safe, we compiled some important teen driving safety tips. Find out how you can set a good example for good driving behavior and the how to save money on new driver car insurance.

Obey Traffic Laws
Just because your teen took driver's education, doesn't mean they know all the laws and rules of the road. Even though your teen may have learned the laws, that doesn't always mean they remember them. By practicing and reviewing your city's or town's driving laws, your teen driver will have a better understanding of the laws and be able to apply the laws when it's their turn to drive solo.

Set a Good Example
If your teen driver sees you're speeding or driving aggressively, they're going to do the same. This is your chance to teach by example - if you expect your teen to be a good driver, show them what that means. Follow the law, don't speed, and drive carefully. Not only will this help make your teen become a better driver, it will also help improve your driving skills as well.

Practice makes Perfect
If you're going to the store, or on a short trip, let your teen do the driving. This will not only give them the extra driving practice, it will also let you see how they're doing behind the wheel. As a passenger, you'll also get the opportunity to correct any bad teen driving habits that your son or daughter may be developing.

Parking Considerations
Make sure to take a look at your son or daughter's designated parking lot. This will not only help you evaluate the surrounding area, but it will also give you the opportunity to refresh your child on some smart parking tips, such as always park under a light, avoid overgrown areas, park close to the street or bus stop and be aware of your surroundings.

Take Classes
Defense driving are designed to provide real life training, with courses that provide a more in-depth training on how to maneuver around an accident, handle changing weather conditions, and different breaking techniques. Not only will this certification help prepare your teen for the open road; it could potentially provide you with a nice discount on your new driver car insurance rate.

The Right Car
Your teen wants a new Hummer H3, you want them to have an older, compact car like a 1994 Toyota Camry - guess what: you're both wrong. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), parents should pick a car that offers good crash protection and speed control such as a Subaru Legacy or a Volkswagen Passat. To help you find the safest car for your new driver, check out the III's Overall Crashworthiness Evaluations of Midsize Moderately Priced Cars.

Avoid Driving at Night
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 42% of teen deaths from motor vehicle crashes occur on Friday, Saturday or Sunday nights, between the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. So restricting your child's nighttime driving may be one of the best things you could do to help keep your child safe and secure.

Limit Passengers
According to Mother's Against Drunk Driving (MADD), teen driving crash rates increase by 50% with just one teen passenger in the car, and by 400% with three or more teen passengers. All the more reason to restrict the number of passengers allowed in the car while your teen is driving. While it may not seem fair to your new young driver, it could help keep them out of harms way.

Don't use Cell Phones
The best advice you could give your teen is to turn their cell phone off while driving. If they need to take a call while in the car, advice them to pull off to the side of the road, put the car in park and then talk.

Belt Up
Safety is vital for all drivers! That is why it is important to remind teens to wear their seat belts while driving - a small tip that could greatly help save their life.

Set the Rules
To prevent constant fighting over the car, the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center has developed a Parent/Teen Driving Agreement. This agreement outlines specific car rules and conditions for your new teen driver, while establishing some rules for you as well.

Car Insurance Considerations
Although it will increase your auto insurance rate, adding your son or daughter to your policy is more cost effective, than if your teen had to purchase his or her own car insurance. We recommend shopping around for the best car insurance rate when you add a new driver to your policy. Insurance.com provides an auto insurance comparison application that helps you find the best auto insurance rate available by evaluating multiple rates from best-in-class insurance providers. You'll save money on your new driver car insurance and get the coverage you all need.