5 Tips for Promoting Safe Driving with Teens - NYCM Insurance Blog

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Nov 20, 2023

5 Tips for Promoting Safe Driving with Teens

As many parents can attest, teaching our teenagers to drive can be one of the most nerve-racking experiences there is. It’s even scarier to know that the rational part of the human brain, the part that responds to situations with good judgment and an awareness of long-term consequences, does not fully develop until a person is nearing the age of 25. Because of this, teenagers are more likely to cause accidents by speeding, fiddling with the radio, and even texting while driving. Research indicates that one out of every five teen drivers have an accident of some type within their first year of driving. 


It may be relieving to know that research also indicates that the number one influence on teen drivers is their parents and guardians. It’s important that you take the time to promote safe driving, and you can do so by following these tips!


1. Have a Conversation

Driving is a huge responsibility and should not be taken lightly. It’s important to sit down with your teen and have a formal discussion about the expectations you have for them while they are on the road, whether they are a passenger or a driver. Be sure to clearly outline and review the rules of safe driving, even if it seems like something they should already know. You can help reinforce the gravity of the situation by explaining what the natural consequences could be if they were to participate in distracted driving. For example, if they were to text and drive, they may run their car off the road, or hit an oncoming driver, which could then result in serious injury or even death. It is better to use consequences such as these as an example, over something like being grounded, because it shows that your concern lies with keeping them and others safe, rather than it being about rules or control.


2. Be a Good Role Model

Children and teenagers watch everything you do, which means if you are setting rules for your new driver, you should be following those same rules. If they see you texting and driving, they will think they can do the same thing. If you avoid wearing a seatbelt, they will likely follow in your footsteps. It’s important to set things in motion early on, way before your child even starts driving, so that it will be second nature to them when the time comes.


3. Practice Makes Perfect

There is no such thing as too much practice, especially in various driving conditions. It’s probably a given that you will take your teen out to practice driving during the daylight hours, however it’s important to have them practice driving in the dark and in all types of weather. Taking your child out to drive during a snowstorm may be a scary thought, but what’s scarier is the idea that their first time driving in a storm will be a time when they are alone and have no experience to support them.


4. Refresh Your Traffic Law Knowledge 

Traffic laws change from time to time, so it’s important that you do your research. You’ll want to make sure you are providing your teen with the proper information. This may even be something you and your teen can do together, as a way of staying up to date!  


5. Additional Education

Defensive driving courses, Driver’s Education, safety programs, and other classes can provide your child with additional information and practice. Enrolling your teen in these courses can help give you both a little more peace of mind when they head out to drive on their own. Follow this link for a list of educational opportunities.


In many cases, enrolling your child in a driving safety or education course can qualify you for additional discounts on your auto insurance. For more information about an auto policy with NYCM Insurance, check out the link below and speak to one of our trusted agents!