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Nine things you can do to help your new teen driver

Nine things you can do to help your new teen driverGetting their licence is a pivotal moment in your child's life. It's also a decision that can affect the entire family. If your teen has expressed an interest in starting down the road to driving freedom, you can help make the transition a smooth one by giving some forethought to what life will be like with an inexperienced driver under your roof. Whether you're counting down the days until your new driver can chip in at car pool or you just want to be able to not wring your hands every time they head out on the road, there are steps you can take to make sure you're all on the same page before you hand over the keys. Here are some things to consider:

  1. Proper lessons: While you are probably a fantastic driver, chances are you've also developed some habits over the years. Passing them on to your new driver by teaching them yourself may not be a good idea. Consider enrolling your child in an accredited driving school instead. The bonus: Your auto insurance rates for the new driver will likely be reduced when you do. Call PC® home and auto insurance at 1-866-660-9035 to get a quote and learn more.
  2. Distracted Driving isn't allowed: Have some open dialogue about what distracted driving is. Your child may be aware of risks and possible fines due to texting or talking on their phone while driving, but what about a cup of coffee or a quick snapshot of the funny licence plate ahead? Anything that distracts them from keeping their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road is a distraction. Make sure they know that.
  3. Impaired Driving isn't allowed: Make sure your new driver understands your concerns and the laws around drinking and driving. A frank conversation about the various ways you can be found to be impaired is a good idea too. Also, it's not enough that they don't drink and drive. They need to know what steps to take if they need a ride home or if they find themselves in a situation where other people's impairment is making driving unsafe for them as a driver or potential passenger.
  4. Seatbelts are mandatory: It's against the law to drive without your seatbelt fastened. Enforcing that rule even before they start to drive will make it a habit they don't even have to consider. Also remember to set an example by buckling up yourself.
  5. Rules of the Road must be followed: Remember that it takes practice and repetition to form good habits. Reinforce good driving behavior when they're behind the wheel by offering compliments when they're doing it right and gentle reminders when they start to slip.
  6. Start Slow: Just because they've got a licence doesn't mean they're ready to head out on a cross-country road trip. Set rules that keep them close to home and limit their chances of running into a problem they can't handle while they hone their skills. Then, slowly allow them longer distances, different times of day, passengers in the car, etc. so long as it is permitted with the particular licence they have.
  7. Driving is a privilege – Make sure the new driver understands that while they may be technically allowed to drive, it doesn't mean that you have to turn over the keys to a car. Driving should be an earned privilege. Reward good behavior and apply consequences consistently for behavior that isn't responsible.
  8. Car driving includes car maintenance: Take the time to make sure your new driver understands how to do some basic maintenance on the car. Do they know how to fill windshield washer fluid? What to do in the event of a flat tire? What to do when the oil light or engine light come on? Having these conversations ahead of time will help to keep heads cool in the event of an emergency.
  9. Keep the discussion going – A licence to drive should only be the beginning of a new driver's learning. Make sure they know where to go for questions or advice as they go.

When your new young driver is ready to hit the road, be sure you have taken the appropriate steps to add them to your insurance policy. A PC insurance Broker can help you get the coverage you need. Simply call 1-866-660-9035 today to get a quote for coverage that includes you and the new driver in your family.

General information not about PC insurance products is provided for your reference and interest only. The above content is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on matters of interest and is not a substitute for, and should not be construed as the advice of an experienced professional. PC insurance does not guarantee the currency, accuracy, applicability or completeness of this content.

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