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Driving Tips for New College Students

Your teen is getting ready for college - but will they be ready to handle driving on campus? Even if they've had some good driving experience so far, they are heading far from home, and will be driving in an unfamiliar territory - one with more pedestrians, new distractions and new destinations.

Here are some helpful tips to make the adjustment easier for your young college student.

Check your Vehicle
There are a few simple things you can check on your child's car before they leave for college. For example, make sure the headlights are in working order, that the turn signals work, that the oil level is good and that the tires are inflated properly. These little steps will help ensure a safe trip for your new college student.

Prepare an Accident Kit
As part of the packing for school, make sure to include an auto accident kit in your child's car. The kit should include a first aid kit, blanket, flares, flashlight, batteries, jumper cables, pen, paper, disposable camera, emergency contact numbers and proof of insurance.

Take a Tour
Once everything is unpacked, go on a little road trip around the college's town. During your journey, make it a point to find out where the local grocery store, gas station, eateries and all-purpose stores, such as Wal-Mart and Target, are located. Get a feel for any one-way streets and the flow of the traffic around campus. This will not only be helpful when you come to visit, but it will also make your child feel more comfortable about navigating around their new home.

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.

Check Local Conditions
Driving in a new environment can often catch even the best drivers off guard. That is why it is important for college students to drive cautiously and be aware of their surroundings. If applicable, ask what the town is like to drive around during the winter, or during other times of year with extreme weather.

Remember the Pedestrians
The area around a university will always have a larger number of pedestrians than other towns, with even larger numbers as classes end and the students make their way to their next lesson. That is why it's important to remind your teen driver of these important pedestrian tips:

  • Stop for pedestrians crossing at all corners or crosswalks
  • Don't pass a car that has stopped at a crosswalk
  • Always yield to the pedestrian

Car Theft
According to the U.S. Department of Education, approximately 16,000 cases of auto theft are reported each year on college campuses. Make sure to remind your teen driver to always lock their car doors and never leave valuable items inside their car, such as CDs, iPod or laptops.

Don't drink and drive
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) reported that 2.1 million students between the ages of 18 and 24 drove under the influence of alcohol last year. Don't let your child become one of these statistics, talk to them about the risks of drinking and driving.

Good Grades might mean Savings
Many auto insurance companies offer a good grade discount to college students who maintain a "B" average or better. Not only does this provide parents with a 10 to 25 percent discount on their auto insurance, but it also gives college students an extra incentive to keep their grades up while away from home.

Roadside Assistance
While your teen driver is away at school you may want to consider purchasing a roadside assistance membership, such as the American Automobile Association.

Insuring your College Student's Car
If your teen driver is planning on taking your car to college, make sure to notify your auto insurance company that your car will be housed at a different location. Depending on where your child is going to school, your auto insurance rate may go up or down. To find the best rate to fit your budget, visit Insurance.com's auto comparison site. There, you'll be able to compare multiple auto insurance rates from best-in-class companies, helping you save time and money on your auto insurance coverage.

Original article can be found here at Insurance.com