Most teenagers can’t wait to get behind the wheel, but just because your child has reached the legal driving age and wants to drive, that doesn’t necessarily mean he or she is ready. Driving is serious business, especially on today’s crowded roads with cell phones and other distractions adding higher risk.
Since your child’s life and the lives of everyone else on the road are at stake every time they get behind the wheel, it is essential that parents evaluate their teen’s maturity and responsibility before handing over the keys. Gauging a teen’s readiness to drive requires honestly assessing his or her individual temperament and behavior, which will be different for every child. Don’t feel obligated to let your kids drive just because they have reached the age or their friends are driving. We encourage parents to use your own judgment and trust yourselves; you are the best judge of your kids’ maturity. Listen to your gut, not to their pleading! If you’re feeling uneasy about handing over the keys, even just a few months of waiting could make a big difference.
If your 16 year old is irresponsible when it comes to things like doing her chores and getting her school work done, she may not be ready for the responsibility of driving. Or if your teen shows reckless behavior or high susceptibility to peer pressure, he may not be ready to take the wheel responsibly. You might have one child who is mature enough to safely handle the responsibility of driving at age 16 and another who still isn’t ready by 18. Driving is not one size fits all! Evaluate each of your kids as the individuals they are and don’t let concerns about fairness or peer pressure get in the way of making a smart decision.
When you do reach the decision that your teen is ready to take the wheel, make sure you are protected. Adding a teen to your auto insurance is a good time to review your policy to make sure you have the right coverage for all of your risks and needs. Although there are costs for adding a teen to your auto policy, the first way to reduce the cost is with the Good Student Discount for students with a 3.0 GPA or higher – a good incentive for your teen to keep up with their grades, especially if he or she will be helping pay some of the insurance costs. Bundling your renter’s and auto insurance policies helps you save even more.
If you have a teen reaching for the wheel soon, give us a call.