Driving is one of those big steps in life that most people have to take at some stage. We all remember how excited we were when we passed our driving tests and got our licenses. We were ecstatic when we got our first cars as well. We felt free and all grown up. We could just pick up the keys and go wherever we wanted. However, it was not all fun and we needed to deal with problems. In the same way, we need to help in making sure that teen driving is as safe as it can be. Here are some of the issues that need to be addressed and solutions.
Also read : Car Driving Tips for Beginners
Issues with Teen Driving : One of the biggest issues with teenagers is that they may act like they know everything but they have no clue about many things including dangers of driving. They may feel invincible and in the same time have no idea that it takes only few seconds of taking eyes off the road to have a fatal crash. It is probably parentsâ€™, instructorsâ€™ and teachersâ€™ job to point this out to young motorists.
Teen Driving Statistics : Unfortunately, it is not just our feelings that teen drivers may do something rush or silly to cause an accident. There are strong statistical evidences that they do cause 4 or 5 times more accidents than drivers over the age of 25. They are most dangerous in the first year of their driving. This is the period to watch out and if possible take time to supervise them. Parents can have a few measures in place to reduce accidents. These could include;
- Only allowing them to drive for short periods. They get bored quickly and lose concentration behind the wheel.
- Not allowing friends and/or other teenagers in the cars while they are driving.
- Not allowing them to drive at night or on the highways without an adult present.
- Taking time to be with them until they are fully confident.
- Making sure their cell phones are turned off all the time while driving.
Teen Driving Distractions : Teens love cell phones there is no doubt about it. They are on the phone texting or talking to friends all the time. But they have to know how fatal it can be to text and drive. In addition, they shouldnâ€™t even think about drinking alcohol and driving. Another big distraction for them is their friends if they get on the car with them. Friends can distract them, dare to take risks and apply pear pressure. It is highly advisable not to allow youngsters to go out driving with their friends in the vehicle regardless of what the laws say about it or what their licenses allow.
Parentsâ€™ Involvement : Your teenager may have passed his/her driving test and have got full licence now. This doesnâ€™t mean that they are out of the woods now. You should remember how long it took you to get the wisdom you have now and how many silly things you have done when you were a teenager. You should regularly talk to your teenager about driving, take him/her out for practice runs and even have a contract that outlines their responsibilities behind the wheel and consequences of breaking the traffic rules and the rules you set.
Defensive Driving Courses : There are so many courses to encourage teenagers to drive defensively. They donâ€™t usually cost a lot of money and you can recoup the money spent with teenage car insurance savings received on completion of some of these advance driving courses. There are actually a few free ones run by companies like Ford and Toyota as well as local authorities. It is smart to check if you would qualify for any premium discounts on completion and choose the ones that offer this benefit.
Automobile Insurance : One of the other major problems with teen driving is the cost of auto insurance. A teenager usually needs to pay thousands of dollars for her/his first policy. As mentioned above they are lacking in experience and maturity and vehicle insurers know this fact well. Again, statistical evidences are against them too. Still there are a few ways of finding affordable teenage auto insurance coverage. Here are a few things they need to do to get good rates.
- Get good grades at school. Youngsters can be rewarded with lower rates when they get good grades.
- Make sure not to buy an expensive to insure automobile for a teenage driver.
- Look for Usage-Based policies. Some companies can monitor your driving and charge you cheaper prices on vehicle insurance if you drive well.
- Look for special deals. One of the common ones is the insurance deals offered by car manufacturers.
There are a few issues to tackle in order to make teen driving safe and economical. Dealing with them effectively leaves only the benefits of driving and eliminates the problems. It may be a little stressful for parents and cause frictions in their relations with their children. Nonetheless, parentsâ€™ role in their driver education cannot be ignored.