Tips for Talking About Safety with Your Teen Driver

Your son or daughter being old enough to start driving is a very exciting time. They’re spreading their wings, gaining more independence and taking on more responsibility. Not having to be their taxi service anymore can be liberating for you too. Of course, it can also be a nerve-racking time knowing your child will be behind the wheel. 

It’s important that you teach your child everything you can about teen driver safety, but, as we all know, teens aren’t always 100% receptive to their parents’ advice. Given that this is a difficult subject to broach with your teen, we wanted to offer a few tips for talking to them about road safety: 

  • Share distracted driving statistics.

    Back up your argument with facts for how important it is to not text and drive. Did you know that in 2017 there were 54,133 crashes in North Carolina that were reportedly due to distracted driving? Or that distracted driving is responsible for 27.3% of crashes for people under 18 in North Carolina? Stress that distracted driving isn’t just dangerous; it’s illegal. The only time a person under the age of 18 is allowed to be on a cell phone while driving is if they’re calling their parent. 

  • Limit passengers.

    In North Carolina, an unsupervised teen driver with a limited provisional license is not allowed more than one passenger under 21. Be sure to enforce this rule, because their cell phone isn’t the only distraction a teen can have in the car. A group of friends can also be a dangerous distraction. Explain that this isn’t about ruining their fun and that once they are more experienced this won’t be a rule anymore.

  • Make not driving under the influence the top priority.

    Let your teen know that you’d rather they be safe and call you instead of driving drunk. Be lenient on punishments surrounding the use of drugs or alcohol if they make the smart decision of calling you or another family member rather than driving impaired. 

  • Be a good role model.

    The quickest way to get your teen to disregard everything you say about safe driving is to take a “do as I say, not as I do” stance. Be extra cautious and set a good example. Always follow posted speed limits and never drive distracted.

Another concern when you have a teen getting behind the wheel is how much it will increase the cost of your auto insurance. Since having a teen driver will certainly affect your rate, you should talk to your Spivey Insurance agent. We can discuss how to keep your family protected while not raising your rate more than necessary. Call us at 704-821-4460 or connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn or Pinterest so we can help you lessen the burden of adding a teen driver to your auto insurance plan.

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