Statistics show that drivers aged between 16 and 19 are at a higher risk of having an auto accident than any other age bracket. Since January is Teen Driving Awareness Month, you can take this opportunity to reflect on safe driving practices to help protect yourself and any teen drivers in your family. Read on for more practical tips.

  1. Discuss Road Safety with Your Child

    Don’t let ignorance be the reason why your son or daughter engages in reckless driving. Be sure to have serious conversations with your teen driver about the risks involved. Road safety discussions can touch on various subjects, including:

    • Always putting their seatbelt on when behind the wheel
    • Avoiding distracted driving, including not texting while driving
    • To take important calls, your teen driver should use the hands-free mode
    • Mounting the handset on the dashboard where it can’t obstruct their windshield view or any key driving functions
  2. Adopt Parent-Teen Driving Agreements

    You may want to strike a deal with your teen driver to observe certain mandatory rules as a condition for letting them drive your family car. A set of rules could be designed to help maximize the safety of your daughter or son while driving, while also helping protect fellow passengers and other road users. For example, you might set and strictly enforce boundaries such as:

    • Curfews: You could set specific times when your teen can safely drive, such as requiring them to be home before dark. This restriction reduces their exposure to night time accidents when visibility is reduced.
    • Passenger limits: This ensures that your teen doesn’t drive with too many passengers on board. It can help reduce your liability exposure for third-party injuries in case of an auto accident caused by your teen driver.
  3. Provide a Safe Car for Your Teen

    Driving at high-speed thrills many drivers, but it’s a major factor in most tragic auto accidents. Considering that teen drivers are at a higher risk of crashing a vehicle than other motorists, parents are advised to think carefully before buying teen drivers a fast car. If your teen can afford their own car, you might encourage them to buy a highly-rated, safe model. In addition, some high-performance, fast cars may have higher premiums, so this is also about your potential auto insurance costs.

  4. Enroll Your Teen Driver in a Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) Program

    A Graduated Driver Licensing program might be ideal for parents looking to help their teenagers become better drivers. According to one study, GDL systems can reduce auto accident injuries by about 19% and fatal crashes by 21% for 16-year-old drivers. When your teen driver enrolls in the state’s GDL, they’ll gain driving skills in a low-risk setting.

  5. Add Your Teen Driver to Your Car Insurance Policy

    If there is a newly-licensed teen driver in your family, you should review your existing auto insurance with your trusted Tompkins Insurance advisor. Having them listed on your policy is important, provided that they’ll be driving your family car.

  6. Enroll Your Teen Driver in a Telematics program

    Monitors and score how your teen drives. These types of programs measure items like hard braking, excessive speed, and fast acceleration. Some programs also offer discounts for driving safely. It’s a great way to point out driving habits that could lead to an unfortunate accident.

You couldn’t possibly control all car accident risks on the road, so it’s always best to protect yourself with proper insurance coverage. For help obtaining auto insurance in New York, contact us at Tompkins Insurance Agencies today. We can help customize your policy to provide the most appropriate coverage for you and your teen driver.