Tips and Insights For Your New Driver
It may seem like just yesterday that you were dropping your little one off at school, and now they’re asking for the keys to drive themselves. As a parent, putting a new driver on the road can be equally nerve wracking as it is exciting, which is why we’ve put together the following list of tips and insights to help keep your teen driver informed and safe as they embark on this exciting new milestone in their life.
Make Sure Your Teen Knows and Obeys the Specific Junior Operator Restrictions in Your State
Motor vehicle operators between the age of 16 ½ and 18 are generally classified as a junior operator. In both Connecticut and Massachusetts, junior operators are restricted from transporting passengers under 18 that aren’t direct family members for the first 6 months they have their license.
Junior operators in both Massachusetts and Connecticut are also not allowed to use a cellphone in the car under any circumstances, even if the device is hands free. Teens should know that if they violate these junior operator restrictions, they can get their license suspended.
Talk To Your Teen About Distracted Driving
The risk of having an accident is multiplied exponentially when your focus is diverted from the task of driving. There are three general types of distractions:
- Cognitive distractions — anything that takes your mind off the task of driving
- Manual distractions — anything that forces you to take your hands off the wheel
- Visual distractions — anything that takes your eyes off the road ahead
Many common dangerous driving behaviors incorporate multiple types of distractions. For instance, responding to a text message can be all three — you are thinking about the response, looking at your phone, and taking your hand off the wheel to type. According to NHTSA.gov, sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.
Cell phone use is often one of the most common, and dangerous, types of distraction for teen drivers. According to NHTSA.gov, dialing a phone number while driving increases your teen’s risk of crashing by six times, and texting while driving increases the risk by 23 times, making it imperative for parents to discuss these dangers with their teens. Talk to your teen driver about ways to avoid this, like by putting your phone on ‘Do Not Disturb’ or tucking it away in the center console so they are not tempted to use it while driving. Find more tips for your teen driver here.
Cell phone use, however, is not the only source of distracted driving. Any activity that disrupts your focus on the road while driving qualifies as a distraction. Things like playing music loudly, applying makeup, eating or drinking, and fiddling with navigation or music can all be distracting while driving, especially for new drivers. Find more tips for avoiding all distractions while driving here.
Update Your Insurance
Talk to your local insurance agent about what insuring a new driver means for your auto policy. Since new drivers are at a higher risk for being involved in an accident, it is wise to review your current policies to make sure you have the proper coverage in place. Your Bearingstar Insurance agent can also help you identify any potential discounts or additional coverages that could help fully protect your family.
If you have any questions about teen driving safety, how a new driver will affect your policy, or what type of coverage will be necessary for your new driver, a Bearingstar agent would be glad to assist you! Visit our website to connect with one today: http://bit.ly/2C85CPP