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National Teen Driver Safety Week

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Mark DannehlOctober 20-26, 2013 is National Teen Driver Safety Week. Ensure the safety of your teen driver, and others, by actively preparing them for the open road. Here are eight tips to ready your teen driver for the road:

  1. Slow down. Many inexperienced drivers simply take corners too fast–even though they are within the speed limit–especially on highways. Make sure your child is aware of this and encourage them to slow down.
  2. Be prepared. Rapidly changing weather conditions are typical in Wisconsin. Allow your child to get a feel for different conditions by taking them to a large, empty parking lot when it's slippery and have them use the anti-lock brakes, take some sharp turns, and experience a fish-tailing skid, as well as how much longer it takes to stop.
  3. Be defensive. Teach your teen how to anticipate, predict, and know how to react quickly in case another driver catches them off guard. Remind them to pay attention and increase the distance between the car they drive and others around them.
  4. Tune out. While any type of distraction can be dangerous, texting in particular poses a greater threat because it requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver. There are many smartphone apps on the market that are designed to help teens resist the temptation to use their cell phone while driving. Learn more about the dangers of texting by reading our article, "Is texting the new DUI?"
  5. Click it. Seat belt use in not optional. Remind your son or daughter that seat belts are there for a reason (for all passengers) and it's the law.
  6. Set limits. With as little as 30 hours of behind-the-wheel practice time, your teen may not be ready for the open road even if they passed the exam. Ease them into driving by setting rules and guidelines for where and when they can drive, and who they can have in the car.
  7. Put in the time. In Wisconsin, those between the ages of 15½ and 18 must follow the Graduated Driver License (GDL) process. The GDL requires a child under age 18 to have 30 hours of driving experience (10 hours of which must be at night) before they receive their license. Track your teen’s time behind the wheel and make sure to expose them to a variety of driving situations. The more practice they get, the safer they’ll be.
  8. Sign an agreement. Driving a car is a big responsibility. If you’re ready to hand over the car keys, you may want to consider having your teen sign a driving contract before they back out of the driveway. Check out the Center for Disease Control (CDC)'s driving agreement for an example of a parent-teen driving contract you may wish to use.

Ready to get out on the road? Be sure to read our article on how (and when) to "Add a Teen Driver to Your Policy."  

Need more? The Wisconsin Department of Transportation has a variety of resources available on their Teen Driver Portal.

Still have questions? Give us a call, we're happy to help.

Mark Dannehl, Personal Insurance Consultant

Mark Dannehl, Personal Insurance Consultant