New teen drivers: Essentials while handing them the car keys by christopersmith


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									               New teen drivers: Essentials while handing them the car keys

The first few years that kids grow up and start driving, are perhaps the most anxious
moments in their parents’ lives. Not only are new teen drivers restless and impulsive, they
also lack the experience and expertise to be on the roads. This makes them prone to higher
risk and high auto insurance rates.

Though teenagers aren’t exactly open to easy dialogues, effective communication is the key
to keeping your new teen driver out of danger. They have to be made to understand that
not only are they responsible for their lives and those of others on the roads but also for
your car.

These are some essential points that you should discuss with your new teen driver when
you hand them their car keys:

   1. While it’s cool to hang out with their friends, distracted driving is a strict
      no-no; which means no using the cell phone while driving, or applying makeup, or
      sipping on that steaming hot cappuccino! Distracted driving is one of the worst
      causes of car accidents! The new sense of independence coupled with overconfidence
      can actually lead to potentially dangerous and highly avoidable collisions. A new teen
      driver has to be warned that if he cannot pay attention to the road while driving, he
      has no business being behind the wheel.

   2. Responsible drivers take the law seriously; whether it’s a moving violation or a
      non-moving one, it gets you a ticket. Speeding, parking at no-parking zones, not
      carrying valid car papers in their car, etc, can all get them fined and in turn affect
      their driving record and your auto insurance rates. A new teen driver has to learn
      not to take the law casually. It can have very far reaching repercussions, both for
      him and for you.

   3. A clean and well maintained car will save money in the long run; both in
      repairs, and with lower auto insurance rates. It’s a good idea for a new teen driver
      to know what’s under the hood of the car so that s/he can make minor repairs to the
      car on his/her own. Since s/he’s probably paying for the gas, s/he already knows
      how expensive it is to own a car. Good maintenance will give better mileage, the car
      will run smoother, and last longer.

   4. Reduce the risk of theft; leaving keys in the car while running even the quickest of
      errands makes a car vulnerable to theft. ‘Only new cars are stolen’ is a huge
      misconception. Older cars are equally prone to theft for their parts. Leaving
      valuables like laptops, camera and handbags in open sight can draw attention to the
      car by someone looking to make a quick buck. Installing anti-theft alarms will help
      keep your car safe. A good auto insurance coverage to add to her/his policy is the
      comprehensive coverage, as this can be used to claim from the auto insurance
      company if the car gets stolen. However stuff kept inside the car like gizmos and
      jackets would typically not be covered by the auto insurance policy. So if a car gets
      stolen, you lose money!
While your new teen driver is understandably excited about getting independent finally, s/he
has to be warned that driving is a privilege and not a right. This privilege can be suspended
if s/he does not handle the car well on the road. While s/he might be a stable driver, the
same cannot be said for the others on the road and s/he has to be cautious and alert on the
road at all times. A drivers’ safety course is a good idea to train your new teen driver in
defensive driving. Additionally it might get you some respite on your auto insurance
premiums. Handle the matter with sensitivity but be firm about limits and soon you shall
have a mature and responsible driver at home.

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