License To Drive? 4 Safe Driving Tips To Reduce Possible Rate Increases

If your teenager has recently acquired their license to drive, you may find the cost of insurance overwhelming. In most areas of the nation, adding your teen to your existing insurance policy can increase premiums up to 50 percent. Unfortunately, avoiding this increase is not always an option. However, by teaching your teen how to drive safe, you can ensure insurance premiums do not increase from accidents or traffic violations. When your teen receives their license to drive, teach them to follow the rules and use these safe driving principles.

Put the Phone Away

While obvious to hear, using your cell phone while driving is dangerous. Unfortunately, your teen may believe that texting is the only danger associated with their cell phone. Today, the popularity of smartphones have allowed users to not only text and make phone calls, but to also play games, take photos, socialize with friends and family, and listen to music.

When your teen uses their smartphone while driving, they are 4 times more likely to have an accident.  Due to the massive variety of tasks a smartphone offers, your teen should pack their phone away in a handbag, trunk, or glove compartment.

Operate a Safer Vehicle

Your teen may dream of a red, convertible sport's car, but operating a safer vehicle will reduce the risk of accidents and prevent possible rate increases. When choosing a vehicle for your new driver, consider the following traits:

  • Size – Larger cars and SUVs are more challenging for your teen to operate and smaller cars offer less protection during an accident. For a safer alternative, consider a traditional 4-door sedan.  
  • Power – Safely driving from point A to point B does not require a powerful V6 or V8. Opt for a standard 4-cylinder engine.
  • Age – A brand new car may be financially feasible for your family, but it is not a smart investment for your teen driver due to high premiums and repair costs. Choose a vehicle in the middle part of its lifespan. While not terribly old or new, it is the most cost effective vehicle for a new driver.
  • Features – When choosing a vehicle for your teen, skip the fancy gadgets and technological updates. The ideal vehicle for your teen will include important safety features such as anti-lock brakes, air bags, and stability control. Discuss the possibility of discounts for these safety features with your insurance provider.

Control your Speed

Your teen may practice safe driving while in the vehicle with you, but when they are on their own or with friends, speeding most likely becomes a problem. 25 percent of teen drivers admit to driving over 85 MPH. This not only increases their risk of accidents, but speeding may also result in traffic violations, court costs and tickets, and increased insurance rates.

To help your teen drive below the speed limit, educate them on the vehicle's cruise control feature. Using the cruise control feature while driving on highways will help your teen remain below the posted speed limit.

Limit your Passengers

Of course, socialization is a priority for most teenagers. This socialization may occur before or after school, at night, and on weekends while traveling from one destination to another. As a parent, you want your child to enjoy their driving experiences, but you must educate your teen on the dangers of multiple passengers.

When driving with friends, your teen will naturally want to talk with friends. While this may distract your teen away from driving for just a few seconds, it can be a deadly problem. By limiting the number of passengers your teen can have in the vehicle, you are reducing the possibility of distractions.

Your new teen driver will increase your auto insurance premiums a great deal. While unavoidable, using these tips to educate your teen will ensure they do not have accidents or violations that will increase your rates further. Fortunately, these driving tips will also keep your teen safe.