It was inevitable that this day would come sooner than expected. Your child is now a teenager driver after he or she has gone from a little boy to a teen driver. Although this sounds terrifying in theory, there are steps you can take to make it a positive experience for your child and keep them safe.
It is not surprising that teens are now more tech-savvy than they were a generation ago. Text messaging, social media and text messaging are the only means they feel they can communicate effectively. While it is important to have a discussion (note: “discussion”, and not “lecture”) on using a hands-free phone, it is only half of the battle. Teen drivers are more likely to text or update their status than they are to talk with their “best friend forever”. Many teens believe that just looking down for two seconds to write “on my way”, “lol”, or “tomorrow” is enough. Teens believe that accidents can be caused by lengthy conversations. This is false. One keystroke and one second of distraction can cause irreversible damage to others and to themselves. This is what you should be trying to communicate.
One note about “discussion”: You might think that giving a speech for a teenage driver will get you any where. This could be because it is your first encounter with a teenager since you were a child. Ask them to comment on what you’re saying. To ensure that they remain engaged in the conversation, make sure they are saying something any. You may get the opportunity to ask them to put their phone in their pocket/bag/car console. It may happen.
It is easier to address distractions that are not technical. While maintaining that conversational, non-“I-am-the-parent-you-need-to-listen-to-me” tone, emphasize that drivers need to be aware of their entire surroundings, not just half a car length ahead. You should always check your blind spots and mirrors before changing lanes. Avoid tailgating – it is dangerous and illegal. This can result in a costly ticket. A moving violation in California will result in your record being recorded and your insurance rates will rise for three years. Insurance companies keep records so you won’t be able to hide the offense.
Insurance rates may have risen a lot, as you might have noticed. Because teens are less experienced behind the wheel, the chances of them getting into an accident are much higher than any other age group. While practice is good for some, the actuaries will ensure that your policy is properly rated while the teen driver practices. Talk to an insurance broker that you trust if your teen is considering driving. Sometimes it is a good idea to give your teen their car and their own insurance. You have different insurance needs than them. Every case is unique, so make sure you meet with a broker to discuss your future plans. The rates will not change for the better in nine years. This is why the question “Don’t they go down when they turn 25?” comes up. This is where the question “Don’t rates go down when they turn 25?” comes from. 16 + 9 = 25).
This article was about keeping teens safe and keeping them sane. It also discussed making this time fun. I made sure you had a pathway to the first two. The third is the most rewarding. Your teen can go to the grocery store, the laundromat or school to pick them up. You can then relax and take a deep breathe, knowing that everything will be fine.