If you’re a parent of a teen driver or soon-to-be driver, you may be thrilled to give up some of the carpool responsibilities and be petrified at the same time. Parents inevitably face a new set of challenges when their kids start driving. Reading the statistics on teens and accidents alone is enough to make you want to hit the brakes. The good news is, aside from ensuring they know the proper rules of the road, there are ways to help you keep them safer and in check while still giving them the freedom they crave.

Here are some things for parents of new drivers to consider:

Apps. Many insurance companies offer smartphone apps to help their customers understand their driving behavior and drive more safely. You can often get a discount just for participating and earn additional discounts up to 25% based on your driving score. Parents and teens can monitor their driving behavior and make changes to become a safer driver. These apps are a great way to encourage your teen to maintain safe driving habits while saving money.

Teen driver discounts. Adding a teen driver to your auto insurance policy is expensive. Teens who take a safe driving course or maintain a good driving record with no accidents or traffic tickets may qualify for a good driver discount with their insurance company. Additionally, students who maintain a certain grade point average, such as a B or higher, can qualify for a good student discount of up to 25% with some insurance companies. These incentives are great ways to manage your teen’s driving privileges.

The car. A dependable car with good visibility goes a long way in keeping new drivers safe on the road. So does the size and weight of the car. If you buy a car for your teen, consider a heavier car with high safety ratings or an older sedan. Larger, heavier vehicles typically offer more protection, and older cars that are paid in full give you the option to drop collision and comprehensive insurance and carry only liability protection, keeping your insurance bill down.

Set your own rules of the road. You can help your teen eliminate distractions and potential hazards while they’re on the road by setting some family rules or guidelines when it comes to driving. Some families set guidelines with their teens when it comes to driving with peers or loud music, at certain times of the day or in certain weather conditions. In all, driving is a privilege, and we want new drivers to want to gain experience with a positive outcome.  

Every family has a unique situation. Sitting down with your teen to discuss your family’s expectations and the importance of safe driving can help put your mind at ease before you hand over the car keys. Your insurance agent can also be a good resource and offer some additional strategies to help you navigate this major milestone for you and your family.

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