After 30 hours of in class instruction and 6 hours in the car, your teen is finally ready for his first solo ride in your new luxury vehicle. The driving manual and education course teaches foundational skills enough to pass a written test, but the biggest risk for teen drivers is what they don’t know that can only be gained through time and experience. These tips can help you stay ahead of potential hazards.
Teen Drivers and Driving Distracted
In the state of Illinois (and several others), it is illegal to text and drive, with the exception of reporting an emergency, but that doesn’t stop people from being on their phones behind the wheel, including teens. The “it won’t happen to me” mindset creates a mental state of invincibility that could cause a tragic outcome. It is important to emphasize to teen drivers the importance of putting phones down, having a legal number of passengers in the vehicle, avoiding podcasts and audiobooks while driving, and keeping music volume at a reasonable level.
Winter is the longest season in many Midwestern states, but each season can bring potentially dangerous conditions, including rain, winds, and ice. Does your child know how to handle weather on the road? Pumping brakes instead of slamming on them-especially in the snow and ice, accelerating and decelerating slowly, leaving plenty of room between your cars and others, and braking gradually ahead of lights and stops. With increased technology and luxury features, awareness will be lowered and dependency on these features will increase. These features are built in to keep you safe, however, teen drivers should always be hyper aware of their surroundings on the road.
This may sound unnecessary or “dramatic”, especially in the eyes of a teenager, but a Safety Agreement can bring attention to potential hazards your teen was not aware of. Here are a few examples of what to include:
• Where are they parking when they stay the night at a friend’s house?
• Are they leaving your luxury vehicle in an unfamiliar location to carpool with friends “just for a few hours”?
• Are they checking their mirrors?
• Are they putting on make-up, eating, or other distractions while behind the wheel?
• Having a system for communication about events and locations will also help keep them safe.
Teen drivers tend to overestimate their own driving skills and underestimate the conditions of the roads. Avoid potential safety issues by openly communicating and teaching your teen that mindset, attitude, and awareness are the keys to safety behind the wheel.
Contact Webb Insurance at 847-235-6001 to ensure you and your family, including those new drivers, are protected by your premier vehicle coverage.
Serving Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, & the surrounding North Shore area.