It seems like just yesterday you were holding their hand to cross the street and helping them tie their shoes, but now your child is officially a teen, and with that comes a new and exciting chapter — driving! Here at HIG, we know handing over the keys to your teen is a big deal and that’s why we’re here to help make sure you and your teen are ready for this new freedom and responsibility.
Learning to Drive
The most important thing about learning to drive is actually driving. This may sound obvious, but you or your teen are never going to feel confident unless they gain the experience they need. But before you hop in passenger side and hand over the car keys, it’s important to talk to your teen about the drive. Help your teen be better prepared for the road ahead by discussing what they may encounter. For example, talking about changing lanes, navigating intersections, and pulling over for emergency vehicles are all scenarios to be prepared for. We also suggest beginning with a short, familiar route. As your teen gains confidence and experience, you can extend your drives and practice on busier roads, like the highway.
Setting Ground Rules
Once your teen is officially a licensed driver, they’ll want the freedom of having the car all to themself. As a parent, you play a crucial role in their safety and setting ground rules for driving can help do just that. Things like ‘always buckle up’, ‘never use your cell phone while driving’, or ‘keep music to a manageable volume’ are all great places to start! Other ground rules include, ‘no driving at night’, ‘no driving in bad weather’, and ‘no driving without a parent’s permission’. It’s important that your teen understands that driving the car is a privilege, not a right and that if these rules are broken there are consequences. Adversely, as your teen gains more experience and maturity, rules can be loosened, like extending driving curfews.
We know you’ve ridden passenger side coaching your teen through every intersection and around every corner, but the day will come when they’ll be driving on their own, which is why it’s important to have a conversation about distracted driving. Distracted driving is often thought to be just texting while driving, but any action that diverts your attention from the road is distracted driving. For example, eating or drinking, talking to passengers, setting a GPS, and changing the radio are all distractions. Talk to your teen about how to prepare before getting in the car so they can focus on the most important thing — driving. For more tips how to avoid distracted driving, read our blog on Distracted Driving Prevention.
Adjust Your Policy
So you’ve added your teen to your auto insurance policy — is your coverage still where you need it to be? Teens are more likely to get into an accident than any other age group, which makes it important to adjust your policy when adding on a new driver. No one knows better than you, the parent, about the type of driver your teen is and here at HIG, we know insurance. Together, we can work together to adjust your policy coverage to meet your specific needs at a price that fits your budget.
We know it’s hard to watch your teen grow up, but we can help give you the peace of mind you need knowing they have the proper coverage behind the wheel. To add your teen to your current auto insurance policy or to find more information about a new policy, give us a call at 508-676-5949.