Every parent’s worst nightmare is getting a call to say their teen children have been in an accident. We could keep them all safe by not letting them drive, but that’s just not practical. With a few simple strategies, we can ensure that teenage drivers not only have a safer driving experience, but also gain rewards like cheaper car insurance.

Safety First – Switch the Cell Phone OFF

Numerous studies have shown that using a cell phone while driving is equivalent to driving while drunk. Let that sink in. It’s not enough putting it on hands free or switching it to silent mode. Get your teens to turn the phone OFF. They can’t afford to shed even one percent of their concentration.


Stay within speed limits

The speed limit is designated specifically to save lives and protect drivers and other members of the public. If our teens are staying within and around these limits, their speeds are safe. Not too slow, not too fast. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, speed was the major factor in 31 percent of teen-driver fatalities in 2016.


Keep your distance

Less-experienced drivers are often unaware of a car’s safe braking/stopping distance, especially in rain and snow. A good rule of thumb is to keep at least a car’s length between yourself and the car in front. This needs to be lengthened when conditions are bad, or when driving at greater speeds.


Make more use of headlights

Teenagers might only consider putting on their headlights when it’s dark out. It’s natural to assume early on that the only function of headlights is to aid your sight at nighttime. Remind teens that lights are also to help others see you, so using them when it’s lighter out also has safety advantages.


Don’t text

We’ve already covered switching off the cell phone, but for those who can’t manage that step, we at least want to remind teens of the greatest cell phone danger – texting while driving. There is no safe speed or location to both text and drive, it is the one behavior that all drivers, teenage or otherwise, must eliminate from their driving routine.


Take a driving course

Check in your local areas for places offering defensive driving courses. Besides giving you greater skills and experience on the road, insurance companies will also recognize certification as proof of competence and may lower your insurance premiums.


Teens make up a disproportionate number of traffic fatalities. Let’s do everything we can to change that, and make driving safer and more enjoyable for young people.

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