prepare for when your teen starts to drive

Things to Prepare for When Your Teen Starts to Drive

A major right-of-passage for most teenagers is getting their driver’s license. It is also a time of great concern for parents. In reality, sending your teens off in a vehicle is the first step to watch your children fly on their own. After all, they are going to grow up at some point, mom and dad. 


Before your child takes the wheel, there are several things to consider to ensure they are as protected as possible. The following tips will increase THEIR safety and YOUR peace of mind.


1. Invest in the right vehicle

Every teen has big dreams of driving a sports car or other high-end vehicle. The reality is neither of these is a good choice for a first-time driver. Take your teen to a local new or used car lot and test drive vehicles with high safety ratings and features. Look for safety features like front and side airbags, anti-lock brakes, traction control, and have at least a four or five-star rating on government crash tests. Look for used vehicles with a history of reliability. The older the vehicle, the less it will cost to insure. In the event of an accident, the replacement value is not as high either. 


2. Set the standard

Children watch you at all stages of life. They pick up both good and bad habits that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. Our role as parents also means we are their role model for countless scenarios and situations, including when behind the wheel. Being an example to your children is the best way to communicate how to be a safe and responsible driver. 


3. New driver awareness

As we grow older, car insurance rates change based upon age and driving history. This means our behavior behind the wheel will impact our insurance reputation for years to come. Reckless driving as a new driver could cost your teen, you as a parent, and other members of the family on your auto insurance policies. 


Your current policy may be just fine without your teen on it, but you may want to shop around and see what policy options are available before adding your new teen driver. Rates can climb significantly when you add an inexperienced teen driver to your policy. Be sure to shop for the best deal possible. 


4. Enroll your teen in a safe driving program

One great way to ensure your teen is ready for the road is to enroll them in a safe driving program. These programs give a total overview of the basics of driving and the risks associated with it. Even better, successful completion usually means you can earn an insurance discount!


5. Discuss distracted driving

The leading cause of teen accidents and fatalities is distracted driving. Talk to your teen drivers about cell phone use while driving. According to the National Safety Council, cell phone use causes 1.6 million accidents annually. The more you talk about cell phones, the more likely your teen will understand the severity of the issue. 


Rumbaugh Insurance is here to help you when it comes time to put your child behind the wheel. Contact our team today, and let’s review your policy and assess the impact that an inexperienced driver will have on your policy together.