How to Prepare Your Teen for Their First Car

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) claims that the leading cause of death among teenagers is car accidents.  In fact, a teenager is three times more likely to be involved in a car crash than a driver over 20.  Because of this, it is vital that your teen takes proactive measures to ensure both they and their passengers are safe behind the wheel.  Below are some of the steps you can take to prepare your teen for their first car.

Driver Education

While it is perfectly possible to teach your teen how to drive, a lot of parents feel more confident in passing this job over to a driving instructor.  You can take a look at the DMV website for your state to gain accurate information about the driver education courses in your state, including the age and eligibility requirements.  Some high schools provide driver education courses to their students, so this could be one option worth looking into, but you can also check out the American Automobile Association website if you’d like some tips on how to teach your teen yourself.

The Importance of Safety

While driver education courses should teach your teen the importance of safety, peer pressure can lead to them taking unnecessary risks in order to look good in front of their friends.  If your teen cannot be trusted to act responsibly on the road, they should not be provided with their own car.  According to the CDC, there are three main things a teenager needs to do to ensure his safety:

  • Wear his seatbelt
  • Never drink and drive
  • Sign up for a Graduated Driver Licensing Program

The above three strategies can help to prevent accidents while making your teen more aware of the importance of safety.

First Car

While most teens would love to receive a brand-new sports car, this isn’t practical for many families; not only from a cost point of view but also from a safety one too.  Choosing a pre-owned vehicle that has a good safety record will help to lower the cost of your insurance premiums while keeping your teen safe at the same time.  Do ensure that the vehicle you choose is checked over by a mechanic prior to purchasing.  You can also invite your teen to help you choose a vehicle if you’d like, and you may find it beneficial to ask your teen for financial help towards it too.  This often helps to establish further responsibility.

Insurance

Finally, it is important that your teen has an appropriate insurance policy that will cover him should he ever be in an accident.  Most states heavily frown on uninsured drivers, and no pay no play laws can lead to large fines, and a lack of compensation – even if your teen is in an accident that wasn’t his fault.  Don’t risk it; purchase a full insurance policy before he gets behind the wheel.

Hopefully, your teen will have a safe driving career ahead of him.  Good luck!

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