Driver’s license in hand… check!
Keys to the car… check!
Full tank of gas… check!
House rules for your teenage driver… check!
For your teen, driving means freedom, but to you as a parent it can mean extra worries and sleepless nights. So, what can you do? You play an important role in teen driver safety. Instilling safe driving habits and clearly defining your expectations and the rules of the road are good places to start. Before you toss your young driver the keys, be sure to go over these rules of safe driving.
7 Rules for Teenage Drivers
1. No Phones While Driving
This is a big one. While there are many distractions to avoid while driving, cellphones are a top distraction. Talk with your teen about putting their phone away while driving. Setting the do not disturb feature while driving can help eliminate the temptation to text and drive or even answer a call.
2. Buckle Up
Research has shown that teens are the least likely age group to wear their seat belts. Remind your teen wearing their seatbelt is not only the law, but buckling up can be a lifesaving habit. They can even get a ticket for not wearing it.
3. No Drugs or Alcohol
This may be an obvious rule, but it’s important to discuss this topic with your young driver. It’s never OK to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or to get in the car with someone who is.
4. Limit Passengers
Your state may have limits on the number of passengers your teen can have in the car, but discuss with your teen the importance of limiting distractions (that includes having too many people in the car). Maybe one or two friends are OK, but maybe you don’t want your teen to drive with anyone else. Set clear expectations early on.
5. Restrict Nighttime Driving
Depending on your state’s laws, your teen may have a curfew for driving. Driving in the dark or even at dusk can present additional safety concerns with limited visibility.
6. Obey Driving Laws
Following laws like speed limits, coming to a complete stop, using turn signals, etc., are important rules to follow. Not abiding by these laws can be costly in the form on tickets, crashes and suspended or revoked driving privileges.
7. Avoid Inclement Weather
For a young driver, less than ideal driving conditions can make a big difference and you want to make sure they take the right safety precautions in low-visibility conditions. Talk with your teen about which weather conditions are OK to drive in and which aren’t. For instance, light rain might be fine to drive in, but snow isn’t.
Your young driver’s safety is your top priority. Talk with your local Farm Bureau agent about our Young Driver Safety Program, which can offer your teen the chance to build skill and confidence behind the wheel. He or she may even qualify to receive the Safe Young Driver discount. Your agent can discuss details with you and help ensure you and your teen are covered with auto insurance.