Teaching your kid to drive is a rite of passage some parents look forward to, while others face it with apprehension. While it’s normal to be a little nervous about having your kid behind the wheel, you have the opportunity to help your child develop safe driving practices he or she will use for the rest of his or her life. The experienced professionals from Altra Insurance Services, a premier provider of San Diego auto insurance, offer a few tips to start the process of helping your teenager become a safe driver.
Choose a Safe Vehicle
Many parents prefer to buy older cars for their kids, since they expect they’ll get a few dents anyway. However, this plan can backfire, since older cars may lack the safety features newer cars have. Try to find a car that’s not too old. You don’t necessarily need to buy a brand-new car, but you’ll want to know it has airbags as well as good tires, brakes, and taillights to prevent accidents.
Alert Other Drivers with a Student Driver Magnet
People tend to be more patient when they know why someone is driving differently. Teen drivers are more likely to do things such as slam on their brakes or drive below the speed limit. Putting a magnet on the car lets drivers know to give your teen extra space.
Choose Low-Traffic Areas & Times for Your First Practice Sessions
Rush hour on the freeway isn’t the best time or place to test out your new driver’s developing skills. Help your teen get used to driving by finding an empty parking lot to practice basic skills. Then move on to a low-traffic road for the first attempts at driving in public.
Model Appropriate Behaviors Regarding Distracted Driving
Most states require student drivers to spend a specific amount of time observing other people’s driving habits. Make sure to adhere to the same rules you expect your teen to follow when driving alone. Turn off the radio, and put your phone away. Your teen will pick up on your cues and be more likely to follow your lead.
Limit Passengers & Distance for New Drivers
Teenagers are more likely to get into accidents when they have multiple passengers in their cars. The same is true when they’re driving long distances, especially if they’re navigating unfamiliar routes. For now, establish a few boundaries regarding your teen’s driving. Your child can eventually earn privileges as he or she demonstrates good driving habits.
Establish an Open Dialogue about Drinking & Driving
As much as no one wants to think about the possibility their teen could make the mistake of drinking and driving, it could happen. Talk to your teen about the dangers associated with driving under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, and other substances, and make a plan for handling it. Letting your teen know you’d rather pick him or her up and go back for the car later could save his or her life.
Your insurance agent can provide you with additional safety information and tips to offer your teen as he or she gets used to driving. If you’re looking for reliable car insurance and high-quality service, call on the trustworthy agents from Altra Insurance Services. We can also provide you with motorcycle, renters, and home insurance. San Diego residents should give us a call today at (800) 719-9972.