January is Teen Driving Awareness Month and you know we love supporting our families & students! Let’s use this month to prioritize safety and responsible driving habits among our teens.
Here are a few tips we’ve learned over the years from working with parents of new drivers:
- Let them drive as much as you can. It’s a bit of a catch-22, but the only way your teen will get better at driving is by driving. Although you’ll be forced to deal with your own nerves, say yes when they ask to drive.
- Set crystal clear expectations. Spell out (maybe even in writing!) where your son or daughter is allowed to drive, whether or not they can have passengers (and, if so, how many), and your speed limit expectations. It’s also critical to discuss phone usage while driving. You can find ideas for parent-teen driving agreements at CDC if you’d like something more formal.
- Expect fender-benders and mishaps. Even though you’ve set expectations and talked through all the scenarios, mistakes are bound to happen. When they do, take a deep breath and respond calmly. The built-in consequences will largely take care of the rest.
- Take advantage of apps like Life360. Life360 offers location sharing for your entire family free of charge and for a premium, advanced driving, digital, and location safety features.
- Relax and encourage. Driving is a life skill your teen needs to be successful. The more calm and collected you stay, the more their confidence will grow. (And remember, you too, were once a teen driver!).
And now that you’re officially scared to death of letting them get behind the wheel…we should probably talk. In recent years, insurance companies have adjusted their guidelines regarding when and how a young driver should be added them to their parents’ policy.
If you’re in a similar place this year, reach out by using the contact form below or by calling the office. We’d be happy to share what you can expect with your insurance when you add a youthful driver to your policy & when you officially need to do that…it’s probably sooner than you think.
In the meantime, parents, guardians, and mentors, let’s lead by example and empower the next generation of drivers to make smart choices on the road.
Buckle up, hang on, and enjoy the ride.