Have a teenage driver? Here are some things you need to know.
Automobile Accidents | teenage drivers
By Arthur D. Leritz
January 11, 2019
If you are like me and have a teenager in the house who is either close to driving age or just got licensed, here are some things that to keep in mind so that everyone (everyone: you, your kid, and other drivers on the road) is as protected as possible:
- Having a new driver in the house is expensive, but not having adequate insurance coverage could be even more costly. Any time you make changes to your policy, such as adding a new driver, I always recommend you take a look at your coverage. A good rule of thumb is to buy as much coverage as you can afford because, worst case scenario, a bad crash with multiple people could leave you under-insured. If that happens, your personal assets could be exposed to a lawsuit. Almost always, it is worth the extra premium to protect yourself.
- Drivers Ed. All I can say about this one is: do it! And do it well. Pay for a reputable course in your area that will teach your teen the rules and skills required to be a mindful and defensive driver. A good course is worth the money and will likely offer far more detail than you may be providing in your own training rides with your kid.
- Intermediate license. The rules have probably changed since you got your license: nowadays, when a kid turns 16, they are first given what is called an “intermediate license” that has certain restrictions, such as:
- No driving between 1 AM and 5 AM for the first 12 months, unless supervised by a driver 25 years or older;
- For the first six months, no passengers under the age of 20 unless it is an immediate family member;
- After the first six months, teens may not drive with more than three non-family passengers under the age of 20;
- The night and passenger restrictions expire one year after driving without a collision or traffic citation;
- No teen under the age of 18 may use a wireless device, even one that is hands-free, while they are driving.
- We have amazing technology nowadays, so you may as well use it. There are several apps that you can download on your teenager’s phone that will track where they are with GPS, monitor how fast they are driving, and let you know if they are using their phone while they are driving. It is worthwhile to check into this as it can give you some extra piece of mind.
Good luck and most importantly try not to get too stressed with a new teen driver in the house!