Safe Teen Drivers
Remember the freedom you felt the day you got your driver’s license? Now your teen is gearing up for their own independence. Of course, your priority is keeping your teen safe and focused when they answer the call of the open road. Here are some helpful insights to share with your teen to help them develop safe habits that will last a lifetime.
Ready? Set? Wait. First thing’s first—when you get into the car, ask any passengers to fasten their seatbelts as you buckle up, even before you start the car. Before you pull out, checking your mirrors to make sure they are positioned to maximize visibility, not to mention free of dirt and snow, is highly recommended.
Healthy Car/Happy Driver. If a dash light goes on, your best bet is to pull over when you can do so safely and call a parent. Some lights come on because danger is imminent, while others only require eventual attention. A parent can help you figure it out and get you home safely.
Avoid the ‘E’. Ask anyone who’s accidentally run out of gas—not fun! To prevent the hassle that comes with an empty tank, keep yours at least a quarter full. If you dip below that before you gas up again, you won’t risk running on empty.
Blind Spot. Do your best to stay out of other drivers’ blind spots, especially semi trucks. Likewise, it’s best to assume someone is in your blind spot when changing lanes or turning. That way, you get in the habit of turning and looking to check, instead of relying on a mirror.
Before Backing Up. Give yourself a little peace of mind by taking a quick walk around your car to make sure there’s nothing behind it—like a child or pet—before backing out of a driveway or parking spot.
Stay Street Smart. When parking on the street, check for oncoming traffic, including cyclists, before opening your driver’s side door.
Signal = Safe And Sane. Drivers who signal when they change lanes keep everyone safe and sane on the roads. Drivers who don’t are more likely to cause accidents and road rage.
Slow, Steady Stopping. Braking quickly at stop signs or lights can be a dangerous practice. Slowing down well before you need to stop is not only safe but better for your car.
Distractions. In driver’s education, teens learn all about the dangers of distracted driving, like texting, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, eating, talking on the phone or changing the music. Yet over time, it’s easy for bad habits to start creeping into our daily commutes. It’s up to all of us to lead by example and stay safe on the roads.
You can feel great about your teen getting behind the wheel when they follow these tips. Want to learn more ways you can help your teen be safer on the road? Check with your American Family Insurance agent to find out more about our free, award-winning Teen Safe Driver program.