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5 tips for keeping your teen drivers safe

Driving is a rite of passage you may anticipate with joy or worry, depending on whether you're an adventurous teen or a typical parent.

Fortunately, most states have laws aimed specifically at the safety of teen drivers – and others they encounter on the road. Restrictions on night driving and the number of passengers have helped reduce risks.

Talk about driving safety

Ongoing conversation can influence your child's driving habits for a lifetime. Use these tips to help your teen driver stay safe on the road and give you peace of mind:

  • Search for online driving tests to help your teen prepare; review it together and discuss road safety.
  • Defensive driving is a learned skill, so model it when you're behind the wheel. Talk about how speed, nighttime and weather conditions affect reaction time.
  • Set a good example by following rules of the road. Slow down and buckle up. And resist the urge to text or scroll on your cell phone – even at stoplights.
  • Remind young drivers that distracted driving includes more than cell phone use – it's talking to passengers, eating, drinking, grooming and tuning in music.
  • Prepare for inevitable auto insurance increases by helping your teen stay focused on getting good grades and a part-time job. Insurance companies may reward their responsibility.