Having kids is stressful enough when they’re little. There’s always a problem at school, a sudden fever, or a temper tantrum to deal with. In time, many of these problems go away–only to be replaced by other worries.
Eventually, your child will hit the age at which your state says it’s legal for them to drive, and you’ll let them get a license, and then you’ll worry even more.
Calm down. While teen drivers do make a lot of mistakes and have accidents at a disproportionate rate, there are things you can do to help mitigate the risks to your teen driver.
Insure Them Well
Most people already have car insurance when their teen begins to drive, so they usually just add the new driver to the policy. This isn’t always best. When that time comes, you should visit acceptanceinsurance.com and see if you can improve on your rates. This can help in two ways. You could simply end up paying less for the same coverage, or you could save enough to upgrade coverage, allowing for a lower deductible or for adding collision coverage.
Don’t assume that the company and the policy that works for Mom and Dad will still be best when it’s time to insure a teen. Do your research and get peace of mind with the ideal coverage for your new driver.
Set And Enforce Ground Rules
Some of the biggest threats to your teen driver’s safety are the driver’s own decisions. You need to start them on the right path by showing good driving habits yourself. That means putting down the phone, wearing seat belts, observing speed limits, and all the other safety practices you know you’ll eventually nag them to do.
Enforcement is considerably easier these days. You can do a lot to hold your child accountable on the road with very little effort. There are teen driver apps that track vehicle speeds, that disable calls while the car is in motion, and that even reward good driving behaviors. Getting them installed and properly configured might take some time, but from that point, it will be hands-off for you even as it works to save your child’s life.
Get Roadside Protection
Many kids start driving in a hand-me-down car. Mom and Dad go to the dealer and buy something new for themselves, and the old car goes to the teen driver. It’s a great money saver in many ways, but depending on the car’s age, it could expose your child to a roadside breakdown.
Dealing with this requires that you properly teach your young driver how to react in case of a flat tire, broken belt, or dead battery. And while many of these problems can be easily resolved by the driver himself or herself, others will end up requiring skilled work or even a tow. And besides, what teen wants to get out on prom night and change a flat tire in a tux or dress?
Invest in roadside assistance coverage. There will always be a reputable company that can go to your child no matter how far away his or her travels–or your own–have taken you from each other. And with cell phones so much more available and reliable today, it should always be easy to get into contact with the service.
Getting a license and a car is a necessity in our busy, far-flung lifestyle today. From there, a certain amount of worry is inescapable. But proper planning and a system of accountability can go a long way toward easing your concerns.