It’s time for a teen to get their driver’s license. Who is more nervous – the teenager or the parent?
Parent anxiety during this rite of passage is understandable. According to the Insurance Information Institute, motor vehicle accidents are the number one cause of death among those aged 15 to 20. Fortunately, teens and parents can take steps to improve safety on the road. If you have a teen behind the wheel, try these best practices.
Choose a safe car: Sure, your teen will probably prefer to drive that sporty convertible, but giving a teenager the keys to a sleek, fast car will only encourage speeding and other unsafe driving habits. For a teen’s first vehicle, choose a car that is easy to drive and offers solid protection during an accident. Avoid small cars and SUVs, which are prone to rollovers.
Limit their risk: Consider following a graduated driver’s license (GDL) program. These are in place in some states (including Colorado), and parents can institute similar policies in areas where they aren’t required. Under these programs, teens’ driving privileges are restricted until the teen has gained experience behind the wheel. Restrictions may prohibit driving at night or with teen passengers. For Colorado-specific information visit https://drive-smart.org.
Emphasize safe habits: Talk with teens about risky driving behaviors. Explain the dangers involved with distracted driving caused by phone use, radio use, or conversations with passengers. Stress the importance of remaining focused while driving. Additionally, certain practices, such as enrolling teens in a safe driver program or using electronic devices to monitor their driving, may qualify you for insurance discounts. Contact our office to discuss what programs are available in your area.