Is your Teen Ready to Drive?
Here are some questions you may want to ask yourself before you start the conversation.
- In general, does your teen show good judgment?
- Do they generally resist peer pressure when it comes to risky or harmful behavior?
- Is your teen willing to follow state driving laws and your rules? (Do you know what your state's Graduated Driving Laws (GDLs) are?)
- Does your teen seem comfortable behind the wheel?
- Does your teen truly understand what "safe driving" means? The Allstate Foundation's research shows that teens differentiate between "good" drivers and "safe" drivers. For example, teens consider "good" drivers to be those who can handle a car at high speeds while a "safe" driver follows all the rules.
Teaching Your Teen to Drive: Making Your Teen a "Smart Driver"
- Good parents want their children to be able to tackle all of life's challenges.
- Learning to drive is among the most important of those challenges.
- Parents need to play an active role in the process.
- Talk to your teen early and often.
- Discuss the risks and responsibilities of driving when kids are young and keep talking to them before, during and after the licensing process to ensure they learn successful, safe driving skills.
- Give these discussions the same priority as you would discussions about smoking, sex or drugs.
- Don't rush things. Just because your teen has a permit or license it doesn't mean they're ready for every driving condition.
- Practice with them in empty parking lots or on side streets.
- Practice at night, in traffic and in adverse weather conditions.
- Keep in mind that if they do have an accident, it might not be their fault.
Start the Teen Driving Conversation
Start the Teen Driving Conversation
When's the best time to talk about safe driving?
Right now. Research shows that too many parents put off the conversation until their teens are "permit age" (generally 15).
The other big 'talks' — as in smoking, drugs, sex — usually take place much earlier.
But the consequences of unsafe driving can be deadly, so the earlier you have the conversation, the better. Here are some tips to help the discussion.
The conversation shouldn't end once your teen has their license.
How they drive during those first few months sets the pattern for all future driving.
This web site is a great resource for you to keep the conversation going.
Talk with your young driver, not at them.
Remember, they're excited about driving.
It's a fun topic for them.
If your teen feels they can share their views, their experiences and their excitement about driving with you, things may go a lot more smoothly.
Being a "safe driver" is not something teens dream of becoming.
But becoming a "smart driver" does appeal to them.
The same goes for becoming a "skilled driver."
So concentrate on them learning to drive well and prepare them well for adverse driving situations such as rain, snow, and glare.
Don't be afraid to be parental.
You're still the authority figure they most admire.
Your job is to provide structure for your teens.
They won't ever say so, but it's what teens want and what they need-- a parent, not a friend.
Don't balk at enforcing the guidelines.
A consequence is not a consequence unless you enforce it.
Taking away your teen's driving privileges for a week or a month may not be convenient for you, but it might just save their life.
In a nutshell, GDL laws let novice drivers get on-road driving experience gradually and under lower-risk conditions. These laws have been proven to help save lives.
Typical provisions of graduated licensing laws are:
- Extended periods of supervised driving before a full license is granted
- Required hours of adult supervision during learner periods
- Restrictions on late-night driving during initial months after teens get their license
- Restrictions on driving with teen passengers
- Seat belt requirements for drivers and passengers
Interested in saving some money?
Whether you cover your teen's insurance premium, or they pay it on their own, you may be able to take advantage of some very helpful discounts - especially if your home or other autos are insured with Allstate.
- Multi-Line Discount
- Good Student
- Passive Restraint Systems
- Anti-Lock Brakes
- Anti-Theft Devices
- Defensive Driver Discount
*The availability, qualifications and amount of these discounts may vary from state to state. In addition, terms, conditions and exclusions may apply, and total savings may vary depending on the coverages purchased.