Few things are more important in a teen’s life than the day he or she gets a driver’s license. It is a privilege they long for, and many parents dread. When your teenager is preparing for the next step in his or her independence, your role as a parent is to ensure your teen understands and practices safe driving habits. Before you embark on the journey, continue reading below to learn a few tips that will prepare you and your teenager for the road ahead.
Learn the Graduated Licensing Laws
Long gone are the days of turning 16 and acquiring the same driving privileges as an adult who has been driving for decades. Today’s teen drivers are subject to graduated licensing laws. Here in Wisconsin, that means taking a driver education course, taking an exam, and receiving an instructional permit no sooner than 6 months after your teen’s 15th birthday. After 6 months of violation-free instructional driving and at least 30 hours behind the wheel, your teen will need to pass a road test before applying for a probationary license.
New driver probationary licenses are subject to double demerit points for violations. For teens under 18, the first 9 months of driving will also restrict the number of underage passengers outside of immediate family members to one person. Teens will also be restricted from driving between midnight and 5 a.m. unless for school or work purposes.
Talk with Your Teen about Vehicle Safety
Driver safety is a topic that should come up regularly in your home. Begin talking with your teen about safe driving habits long before he or she is ready to get behind the wheel. Talk about the dangers of impaired and distracted driving, and emphasize that driving is a privilege – not a right. Address the importance of adhering to safety laws, including seat belt usage, and use real-life scenarios as teaching moments when they occur.
Assess Your Teen’s Maturity
As a parent, it is up to you to determine whether your teen is mature enough to begin driving. Getting behind the wheel is not something that should be taken lightly. If you don’t feel your teenager is ready for the responsibility, don’t feel bad about waiting a while. You could save your teen’s life and the lives of others. At Stauffer-Klug Insurance, we know how much a teenager can benefit from waiting to become licensed. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the risk of an accident is nearly double for teenage drivers ages 16 and 17 compared to those ages 18 and 19.
Outside of graduated driver’s licensing rules, you can also establish your own household rules for your teen driver. Consider where and when you want your teen to drive, as well as who will be allowed to ride in the car. You can minimize distractions for your teen by banning all cell phone usage and the use of the radio inside the vehicle.
Insuring Your Teen Driver
Of course, one of the most important things you can do for your teenager is choose the right car insurance. Make sure to talk to an independent agency like Stauffer-Klug Insurance. We can help you sort through your coverage options and find potential savings, such as good student discounts. Contact us today for your very own Jefferson car insurance quote. We look forward to serving you soon.