How to Survive Your New Teenage Driver
When a teenager becomes a driver…
…16, that magic, “I can’t wait” age for a teenager, is the same age that often times sends a parent into survival mode. For teenagers it’s a rite of passage, a symbol of freedom and independence, fun with friends and joy rides, but for parents it can mean the possibility of needing another car, increased insurance costs, and most of all, worrying every time their teenager gets behind the wheel. Even if your new driver is a good driver, they are still young and inexperienced, and worry still exists.
Friends and family often jokingly say, “Get your children off the streets, Suzy Q is behind the wheel.”
Whether they are joking or not, driving is serious business, and we need our teenagers to think so too. So, in order to give our new drivers more experience after just getting their licence, the Washington DOL has placed a few provisions on what new drivers can and cannot do for a brief period.
- There are nighttime driving restrictions, that unless it is job related, for 6 months, new drivers cannot drive between the hours of 1 AM and 5 AM.
- For the first 6 months, a new driver cannot have passengers under the age of 20, and then , after 6 months, no more than 3 passengers under the age of 20, except for immediate family.
- Full driving privileges begin 12 months after they receive their license or turn 18 years old, whichever occurs first.
Helping keep your kid safe on the roads:
Rather than spending all of your time worrying, there are a few things you can do to keep your young driver safe, while helping them develop good driving habits at the same time.
- Follow and enforce the provisions set up by the DOL for your teenager. If they see you taking these rules seriously, hopefully they will do the same.
- Set up some rules of your own, make them reasonable but, but non-negotiable and with consequences. Although most of your rules will be the same as the law, it will re-enforce how important they are:
- No cell phones while driving, no talking and no texting. Whether it’s friends, phones or food, driving distracted is one of the biggest causes of teenage driving accidents.
- Begin by being in control of the keys, as time goes on and confidence increases (yours and theirs), so can their accessibility to the keys.
- No eating while driving (again, a major distraction).
- Always wear a seat belt and insist that any passengers do to.
- Whenever they reach their destination, they check in with you to let you know they have arrived safely.
- Establish a curfew
- Limit driving as much as possible during bad weather or other poor driving conditions.
- Some pardoents have a contract for both parent and teen to agree to and sign. Contract Example
Good news for teen drivers’ auto insurance…
Yes, your teen driver must be insured, and it can be costly, but there are some great discounts that a conscientious new driver can apply and qualify for:
- If they are going to school full time and getting good grades.
- If they have taken and successfully completed a driver education class.
- If they attend a school that is located at least 100 miles away.
You can survive a new teenage driver, and we would be happy to help you do it…
For questions about insurance for your teenagers and for any other Insurance questions or needs, Contact Whitcomb Insurance