Teen drivers need more than car insurance

Young man driving with a girl friendYoung man driving with a girl friend

Preparing a teenager to drive means more than gathering information on car insurance for teen drivers and the corresponding rates on a policy from your insurance carrier. It means getting them prepared to hit the open road on their own—and leaving you with greater peace of mind.

For teen drivers, everything is new and must be learned, from adjusting the mirrors and operating the windshield wipers to navigating through blind spots. Parents teaching teens how to drive properly and safely takes time and patience. However, doing so from the start will help them be better prepared for their future on the road and help to avoid accidents.

Teen driving tips

Everyone wants to have cheap car insurance rates. A key factor in making that happen is reducing the number of incidents on the road. Teen drivers likely don't qualify for a lot of discounts to help keep their premiums down.

Prepping a teen driver on the hazards they may face on the road and getting in plenty of experience behind the wheel goes a long way toward keeping them safe.

Driving isn’t as easy as it looks. The volume of skills and awareness a new driver is required to learn and apply is considerable. Some of the most important things to pay attention to include:

  • Road signs and conditions

  • Speed

  • Weather

  • Other drivers

  • Vehicle handling

  • Pedestrians and animals

Parents, go over these items with your teen driver before they even start driving. Explain the accident risks involved with each and what to do in various situations. When out practicing, take the time to point out these items and review what you talked about.

Assisting new drivers

Driving may not come naturally to some teen drivers. Learning to drive is most effective with the assistance of an experienced driver. There are many simple things you can do to help teen drivers:

  • Set a good example: Your teen is watching you and registering your driving habits. From the very first time they were placed into their car seat, to riding in the front seat with you, they’ve noticed things like distracted driving (phone calls or texting), seatbelt use, speeding, and aggressive driving. By demonstrating good driving habits, you establish a proper driving foundation for your teen.

  • Rehearse driving situations: Talk to your teen about different driving situations and how to properly react. Your teen will be better equipped to safely deal with dangerous situations if they occur. Play out actual scenarios to rehearse driving situations.

  • Practice, practice, practice: One of the best things you can do for your new driver is give them the gift of your time and practical driving experience in a vehicle. Often, tentative or indecisive drivers are more likely to be involved in car accidents. Setting aside time with your teenager will help build their driving competency and confidence.

  • Enroll your teen in a driver’s education course: While you may practice with your teen and teach them all you know about driving, there are also valuable courses in which you can enroll your teen driver. Driver training courses are taught by instructors to provide more real-life experience and offer feedback from another point of view. In some cases, you might even receive a discount for completing a driver safety course.

Why are car insurance rates higher for teenage drivers?

Even though it might seem like it, insurance companies don’t have a bias against teen drivers. Rates are based on data (number of accidents, etc.), not years of driving experience. And insurance companies have decades of data they use to track trends and, in turn, formulate rates for coverage.

So, what have those trends shown? With less experience behind the wheel, younger drivers are more prone to auto accidents and reckless driving. 

It can be stressful when teenagers start driving. However, with preparation, practice, and patience, it can be a rewarding experience for everyone.

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