New drivers are eager to drive. I was too short after I had my driver’s license. Of course, with the years commuting is no fun anymore, but for teens, driving represent a new life. Parents on the other side find incredibly stressful giving the car’s key to their teenage children. Most parents drive with their children to see how they cope behind the wheel, but handing over the keys is mostly a source of anxiety.
The best way of dealing with this anxiety is based on good old communication and modern technology too. The rate of accidents of teen drivers is huge. However, not all teens are alike.
The first point is not letting your children drive with the cell phone and don’t call them while they are driving. Text messages specially are a huge distraction for young driver and a terrible source of accidents. Never let the keys of your car on the hand of someone who believes being able to read a text message while driving. It is simply not possible.
The second ground rule is establishing a road map where the teen may and may not take the car. New automobile GPS keep track where you car has been. Most models also allow for real time tracking through your cell phone or the internet. With such system you will always know where your car is.
An automobile GPS allows for negotiating safe zone -perhaps the road between school and home -and to expand or reduce this safe zone. Some GPSs systems also track the speed limit and so you will be informed for gross infraction of your ground rules.
Having an automobile GPS on your car will also make your insurance policy cheaper since recovering a stolen car equipped with GPS is much, much easier.
Of course, installing an automobile GPS and not telling your teen may be a huge source of conflict. Don’t ‘sell’ it as a control mechanism. Explain what your car means to you and about your necessity of always knowing where the car is and when you will have it back.
Make your son or daughter feel like this is something you are accomplishing together. Take him or her for a drive and test their driving style or ask them for a full brake in a quiet area, for example.
As I obtained my driver’s license as a teenager it was for me a ticket to a new world. It gave me the freedom that I, and all teenagers, see as their passage to the adult world. However, this new freedom also imply new risks. An automobile can be a wonderful or a terrible tool in the hands of an inexperienced driver.
Before giving the car’s keys to a new teenager driver consider evaluating you insurance policy. Does it cover drivers of all ages and drivers with a newly obtained driver’s license? Take the insurance card always with when driving. The police may request it and you have to show it after an accident. Read the small print about what it covers and what it doesn’t. For new drivers, full cover may be expensive, but depending on your mileage, it is the way to go. Don’t make the mistake of believing that if you only drive on weekend, you need less protection, since accidents happen exactly on weekends. If the premium is too high, but you still want full protection, consider completing a certified driving security training. These course take normally just a couple of days and will make any driver experience his limits and the braking pattern of his own car.
As a side note, consider that another interesting way of still being fully protected by your insurance policy it to choose a hybrid automobile. Leasing or owning a green car will make some insurance policies 10% cheaper. In the saving is double, since ecologically friendly cars consume less gas.
Of course, you cannot only rely on your insurance policy to keep accident costs low. New drivers have to be specially careful about speed and road conditions. It is all about knowing where your limits are. These are two point that new drivers, especially those on their teens, don’t take enough into account. In winter, road conditions can vary rapidly and a new driver will have serious trouble maintaining the car straight the first time.
The new driver should also know his car and extras -first aid kit, jumper cables, camera, spare tire, the route, and cell phone. Make sure that everything is working, and that the new driver knows how to use everything.