10 Tips for Teenage Drivers and Their Parents
Learning to drive is one of the most exciting times in a young person’s life. Whether you are still in high school or heading off to college, you are a relatively inexperienced driver and there are potential dangers. This can be especially true for the teen driver who plans to take their vehicle off to college with them. Parents, review these tips with your student now, and again before they leave for school. They’ll be learning biology, calculus, and anthropology in class, but these practical life skills are just as valuable and might just save a life.
Keep your insurance card in the vehicle. Not only do you need to keep proof of insurance in case you are subject to a routine check; your insurance card will come in handy in the event of an accident. It should include your insurance agent’s name and phone number, making it much simpler to file a claim right away.
Maintain the vehicle. Learning to drive is only the first step to becoming a responsible driver. Regular oil changes and tire maintenance help to keep your car safe on the road (and helps you to avoid unnecessary, expensive repairs). Parents, remind your child about vehicle maintenance regularly. Young drivers, remember to take your car in for servicing, especially when a light appears on the dash. You might even use a smartphone app that reminds you of things like oil changes.
Be careful when carpooling. If you plan to take your car to campus, keep in mind that you will become a magnet for those who need a ride. Avoid distracted driving, with lots of friends in the car, and use a navigation service to get directions before you even start up the car. Driving around with passengers shouting suggestions can become chaotic and increase your risk of a mishap.
Don’t loan out your car. No matter how much a friend begs, don’t loan out your vehicle. Your insurance company probably won’t cover any accidents caused by unauthorized drivers.
Keep an emergency road kit in the vehicle. Parents, put this on your shopping list. An emergency road kit can aid your student in the event of a problem. Make sure you review all items with your teen driver, and make sure he or she knows how to use them.
Check on your car regularly. If you’re going to live on campus, you might park your car and walk for days at a time. But remember to check on your car daily, because damage and even theft can occur. And of course, always keep the doors locked!
Don’t keep valuables in your car. If a break-in does occur, you don’t want to lose your laptop or other expensive items.
Remember your tag renewal. This is especially important for those of you who plan to go to college in another state! Driving with an expired tag is basically begging for an expensive ticket.
Avoid distracted driving. Set your phone on the “airplane” setting before you even turn on the car. That way you won’t be tempted to glance at those notifications or reply to a text.
Review safe practices regarding drinking and driving. In the event of alcohol consumption, you should never get behind the wheel. Using a designated driver or calling a cab is usually the best course of action. Walking home is another option, but only in a group. Wandering the streets alone and inebriated is never a good idea. Of course, the best idea is abstain from alcohol in the first place.
If you’re a teen driver, review these safety tips now and again before going off to college. Parents, make sure to keep in touch with your young driver, and remind them of these safety steps often.
We care about all aspects of a student’s high school and college careers… especially their safety.