If your child is about to start driving, you may be a nervous wreck once you start reading about teenage crash stats and remembering your teenage driving days. Your teenager is probably excited about driving and the freedom that comes with it.
But as a father, you need to teach your teenagers how to drive safely, so you aren’t nervously watching the clock every time they run out to the store with their new license.
And of course, while you are worried about your teen’s safety, you are probably also concerned about insurance rates rising if your teenager rear-ends someone in addition to the regular insurance rate increases for young drivers in general.
To help give you peace of mind, we will go over some of the best ways to teach your teenager to drive safely. We also discuss car insurance savings and how much car insurance is under a parent’s policy versus a teenager buying their own insurance policy so that you can create a financial plan ahead of time.
Best Ways to Teach Your Teenagers to Drive Safely
Teaching your teenager to drive safely is an unspoken rule in the universal how to be a good dad handbook. The following simple tips will help you guide your teenage driver to safe driving practices, and they will help you keep calm, too.
Lead by Example Behind the Wheel
You can not underestimate the importance of leading by example in fatherhood. Your children are always watching everything you do. If you are a driver who speeds and cuts people off in traffic without a turn signal, they will think it’s okay to do the same because Dad does it.
Demonstrate the driving practices you want them to follow, and you may be surprised at how much they pick up before they even get behind the wheel.
Require Defensive Driving Classes
While driver’s education can be good for teenagers to start with, having them take a defensive driving course is vital. It teaches them driving techniques for several dangerous situations, such as hydroplaning or wildlife leaping in the roadway.
In fact, a defensive driving class may even be a fun course to take together, as even adult drivers should always brush up on their defensive driving skills.
Download Safe Driving Apps
There are a number of apps that can be downloaded onto smartphones in order to help keep your teenager safe by reducing distractions.
Some of these apps reduce the temptation to text by putting notifications on pause while driving, while others reward drivers for not speeding with insurance discounts or sweepstake entries. A few companies even design apps for parents, so dads can track their children’s driving habits and be alerted when they speed.
Get a Car with Teenage Driving Monitors and Safety Features
A few newer vehicles have teenage monitoring systems that allow parents to set speed and audio limits, seat belt alerts, and more. Vehicles with safety features like blind-spot monitoring, lane departure alert, or automatic emergency braking will also help keep your teen driver safer.
Reinforce Your State’s Rules for Your Teenager
Make sure to enforce state driving rules while your teen is new to driving. For example, you should follow through on typical new license rules like no driving late at night or early in the morning, no more than one passenger who isn’t immediate family, no cellphone use in the car, and other common rules.
By following these simple tips, you can help keep your teenager safe on the road as they embrace their newfound freedom. While you can’t always predict what will happen on the road, preparing your child for driving disasters and limiting distractions are some of the best things you do as a dad.
Remember to remember the driving newbies’ perspective. What comes easily to you is a new skill for your teenager. Reinforce and reinforce good habits until safe driving becomes second nature in your teenager. Things such as using a turn signal and keeping the phone off in the car will soon become routine for your teen with your help.
Ways to Reduce Your Teenager’s Driving Rates
Now that you know how to keep your teen safe on the road, you’re probably wondering about insurance costs. There are a number of different ways to lower the insurance rates for your new teen driver.
Add Your Teen to Your Insurance Policy
While some parents want to have teenagers get their own policies, this is usually a mistake. If teenagers buy their car insurance policies, rates are usually thousands of dollars more than if teenagers simply join their parents’ policies.
In fact, most teenagers wouldn’t even be able to afford a car insurance policy independently, as these policies can run anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 a year.
Therefore, it is in both the teenagers’ and parents’ best interest to add the teenager to the parents’ policy. Adding a teen to a policy will be the cheapest option and will provide teenagers with the most coverage.
Research Discounts for Your Teen
To save money when adding your teenager to your insurance policy, make sure to take advantage of student discounts. Some insurers offer discounts for students with a B+ average, called the good student discount.
There are also a handful of other discounts that can apply to new drivers, such as a student away discount or a defensive driver course discount.
Consider Switching Insurance Companies
Suppose you find your insurance rates are still too expensive even after applying for discounts.
In that case, you may want to consider switching to an insurer who charges less for adding teenage drivers to a policy. Just make sure that you don’t resort to dropping coverages or signing up with an unreputable insurer. Doing so could be a pricey mistake if your teenager gets into an accident.
Being a Good Dad Means Being a Good Teacher
We hope we have given you a better idea of how to prepare your teenager for driving safely and what you can do to keep rates lower. Teaching your teenager to drive safely is one of the best things you can do as a dad, as you give them the tools for a lifetime of good driving habits.
Want more advice? Read about the 100 other ways to be a good father to your children.
This content is brought to you by Rachel Bodine.