Let’s start a conversation about teens and safe driving. Parents and guardians, it can be difficult to acknowledge your teenager will become a new driver soon. They’re growing up and getting ready to take on more responsibility which can feel scary.
We understand that for teens, learning to drive is exciting and stressful. As a beginner driver, they have lots to learn before they become confident and experienced behind the wheel.
One of the best ways to promote teen safe driving habits is for parents or guardians and their teenager to work together.
Today, we’re going to focus on helping parents and guardians navigate this big change. We will cover how to start the conversation with your teen and create a teen driver contract. Plus, learn the resources where you can find temporary permit and driver’s license requirements for your state. Last, you can expect some teen driving safety tips designed for you to share with your teenager including some technology you can use to your advantage.
Get started with rules and expectations
There are several things you can do to set the new driver in your household up for success. Start with a conversation with your teen to begin establishing rules and expectations.
Here’s how to talk so teens will listen to you about becoming a first-time driver:
- Start the conversation with questions for your teen. Find out what they already know about driving laws, the age they are legally allowed to try for their learner’s permit in your state, teen driving safety tips and more.
- Ask your teenager how they feel about becoming a new driver. You may be surprised to learn you and your teen have similar feelings about the transition.
- Acknowledge their thoughts and feelings. Tell your nervous or enthusiastic teenager you are there to offer support and help them learn.
After several conversations, work together to write a teen driver contract for you and your teen to uphold. This agreement can include when your teen is allowed to test for their learner’s permit, expectations for when to complete driver’s education courses, the vehicle(s) your teen is allowed to drive and more. Start small and add to it as time goes on. You may need to add rules once your new driver has earned their driver’s license.
With this approach, you can establish parent rules for your teenage driver that feel like an agreement from both parties. Check out more inspiration for your teen driving contract.
Your child will be practicing teen safe driving before you know it. Check out this infographic with a few ways you can prepare for your teen to get behind the wheel.
Establish teen auto insurance
Car insurance for teens works just like your average car insurance policy. Before your teenager gets their learner’s permit, add your new driver to your auto insurance to ensure they are covered from the first time they drive.
Talk to your Integrity independent agent to explore your coverage and discount options. Your teen may qualify for a good student discount or choose to sign up for OnTrack, our safe driving app that helps you save on car insurance.
Help your teen get their learner’s permit (driver’s permit)
The time has come to help your beginner driver earn their learner’s permit. Every state has a different set of requirements to obtain a driver’s permit. Here are some resources you can use to get started:
Parents and guardians, you can go the extra mile for your inexperienced driver and quiz your teen on driving rules to help them pass the test.
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Simple teen safe driving practices
There are many ways you can influence your new driver to make good choices and stay safe while driving. Here are a few of our favorite recommendations:
- Help curb the risk of teen texting and driving by limiting your own distractions while you’re behind the wheel. Talk to your teenager about the risks of texting and driving and give suggestions to eliminate distractions like putting their phone on “silent” until they’ve safely reached their destination.
- Encourage your inexperienced driver to stay close to home while they are practicing driving. Your teen is probably already a little bit familiar with the speed limits, line of sight, stop signs and other road elements in your area. As a new driver, that familiarity will help them gain confidence in their abilities.
- Download a tracking app such as Life360 to promote family safety and independence for your teen. You can make this part of your teen driver contract discussion and explain how tracking apps are designed to encourage families to stay safe and get help if an emergency arises.
You know your teenager best. Use this list as a starting point to work together throughout your teen’s new driving journey. Learn more about safe driving and planning a route.
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National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)