Few things scare a parent more than having a teen driver. The learning curve is sharp – both for
your teen driver and for yourself as you strive to become an effective and poised teacher.
When your teen is driving, it can be difficult to determine which driving tendencies demand
correction and which ones are okay to overlook. To avoid nitpicking their every move, it’s
better to encourage safe driving habits that will make them a better and safer driver overall. In
this blog, we’re going to cover four skills to teach your teen driver.
Mind your speed.
Speeding is not only a major cause of teen car accidents, but it’s also a factor that worsens the
effects of an accident.
If your teen has a lead foot, explain to them the risks of driving over the speed limit. Many
teens assume that as long as they avoid a speeding ticket, they’re not hurting anyone. But a
speeding ticket is minor compared to being liable for causing an accident and injuring someone
due to driving too fast.
Drive free of food and drinks.
Parents are quick to tell their teens to never drink and drive. But what about driving and
Eating at the wheel really is distracting, and for a teen who’s inexperienced to begin with, it is
often the cause of fender benders and other accidents.
The piece you may not want to hear is that your teens are watching you drive and learning from
your habits, good or bad. If you’re dressing a salad while trying to watch the road, or driving
with the steering wheel between your knees while eating a chicken sandwich, they’re likely to
feel confident in doing the same.
Set a good example for your teen drivers. They may not want to listen to your lectures in the
car, but leading by example goes a long way.
Manage the social scene.
Food is certainly not the only distraction teen drivers face. Passengers, loud music, and phones
are all common, and often, unmonitored distractions.
The best way to manage social distractions is to, again, set a good example. Put your phone in
the back seat when you get behind the wheel. Ask a passenger to respond to urgent text
messages for you instead of attempting to text while driving. Better yet, put your phone in
driving mode. (Honestly, even if you don’t have a teen driver, these are excellent habits to
While helpful for sending text messages, passengers can be a major distraction for teen drivers.
It’s best to limit the number of friends your teen is allowed to have in the car while driving. Give
them time to acclimate to the road before their car turns into a social hub.
Arrive at Your Destination Before Dark.
Because teen drivers are inexperienced, nighttime driving presents a common risk. Not only are
things more difficult to see in the dark, but chances are, your teen is going to be more tired at
night, and so will other drivers.
If your teen is driving at night, help them take note of areas that require their utmost attention
- Busy roads
- Historically dangerous intersections
- Construction zones
- Pedestrian-heavy areas
The more alert your teen is while driving, the safer they will be.
Will you have a teen driving soon? Contact Penny Insurance about adding your new driver to
your auto insurance policy.