Back to school means getting back to a routine. As your teen driver spends more time commuting to and from campus each day, it may be a chance to brush up on some basic safety tips. Continue reading to learn some of the ways you can help keep your teenager and others stay safe this fall.
Running late for school can be stressful and cause your teen to make poor decisions when behind the wheel. In addition to speeding, being late might cause your teen to drive more aggressively, weaving between cars and following too closely. These types of behaviors are not only illegal – they are dangerous. Instead, recommend that your teenager leaves home a few minutes early to allow plenty of time to arrive on time and find a good parking spot.
Always Wear a Safety Belt
Seat belts save thousands of lives every year. Even responsible teen drivers can find themselves the victim of another driver’s mistakes. If another vehicle hits your teenager’s car, a seat belt could mean the different between life and death. In Arizona, wearing a seat belt is not an option; it’s the law. No one – not even teenagers – are too cool for safety.
Sign (Or Renew) a Parent-Driver Contract
More and more parents are creating contracts with their teen drivers. These contracts extend the privilege of driving with certain conditions. With school starting, now is a good time to create a new contract or review an existing one. Your contract might include agreements like:
- No texting while driving (even at traffic lights)
- No talking while driving
- No use of the radio while driving
- No one under age 21 in the car when your teen is driving
- A number to call for pick-up if your student is impaired
Looking Out for Pedestrians and Bicyclists
After a long summer without the daily trip to school, it can be easy to forget about the presence of school zones. For teenagers driving themselves to school each morning, it can be tempting to be a little heavy on the gas pedal to keep from being tardy. Remind your teen of the importance of looking out for pedestrians at crosswalks, as well as young children on bicycles.
Stop for School Buses
School buses are all over the roads in the mornings and afternoons – usually the same time your teenager may be traveling to and from campus. Remind your teen driver to stop for school buses if the yellow or red lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended. In Arizona, drivers must remain stopped until the lights are no longer flashing, or the bus begins to move forward again.
Students Leaving for College
If you have an older teen that will be spending this semester on a college campus and leaving the car at home, you might be in for some big benefits. Be sure to inform the team here at Harnish Insurance Group, since you may qualify for discounts on car insurance for teens away at school. These types of discounts vary from insurer to insurer and are typically limited to teens that are living more than 100 miles from home.
Keeping Grades Up
Finally, make sure you talk to your student about the importance of good grades — not just for his or her future, but also for car insurance purposes. Students who maintain a 3.0-grade point average or higher, or high school age drivers who make the A-B honor roll may qualify for discounts of up to 15 percent on car insurance. Contact the team here at Studer for more information.