Tips for Teen Drivers in Alabama and Louisiana
Teens getting their first driver’s license is exciting; they have more freedom and convenience when driving. But, as every adult driver knows, there’s more to it than that. Here are some tips to help your teen drivers in Alabama and Louisiana find affordable car insurance and stay safe on the road.
The great part about helping your teen driver stay safe on the road is that the potential pitfalls are predictable. That means that you can help them stay safe as they gain experience. This is critical. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, motor vehicle crashes are the second leading cause of death for U.S. teens.
Safety issues that can contribute to accidents for teen drivers include:
- – Driver inexperience
- – Driving with teen passengers
- – Not using seat belts
- – Distracted driving
- – Drowsy driving
- – Reckless driving
- – Impaired driving
- – Nighttime driving
Let’s look at some of these in more detail.
Does Teen Driver Inexperience Increase Risks of Accidents?
In a word, yes. The more experienced you are as a driver, the more you can handle different situations while driving. A teen driver may be comfortable driving in good weather, with good lighting and good road conditions, but how often do we have all these elements? Anything out of the ordinary will be a factor that they have less experience handling — this is a natural part of learning, but it puts them at risk.
Practicing driving with a parent in the car in different road conditions and different times of day can help your teen driver to gain more skill with different road conditions. In Alabama and Louisiana, we have been known to have severe weather that makes driving difficult. Forewarned is forearmed.
What Are Teen Driver Driving Tips for When They Have Teen Passengers?
Make sure your teen knows basic safety rules and encourages their friends to follow them. Teens love to hang out with their friends, which is great if they are all safe. Model safe behavior yourself by always wearing your seat belt, requiring all passengers to wear their seat belts, keeping music low in volume, and staying focused on the road. Never text and drive. Put your phone down and only use it when you are parked, and your car is turned off. Let your teen know that if they break these rules, not only are they putting their safety and the safety of their friends in jeopardy, but there could also be legal ramifications, and they will not be allowed to use your car.
Once your teen is “out on the road,” you will have less control over their behavior, but they will be safer if you have set good examples for them and solid boundaries and consequences. Make sure that both you and your teen know any laws surrounding how many passengers can be in a car with a teen driver at a time, what ages they can be, and if the time of day affects this.
Impaired Driving: How Do You Keep Your Teen Driver Safe?
Be a good example and have a clear backup plan for your teen. Make sure that you drive 100% sober yourself and set the expectation that they will do the same. It is unsafe to drive impaired, but drinking alcohol when you are under 21 years old is illegal.
With this said, it is wise to help your teen have a backup plan if either they or another teen driver is impaired. Let them know that they can always call you for a safe and sober ride home. You may not be happy about the situation, but their safety is your primary concern (not what mistakes may have led to the lack of a sober driver). Get them home safely and then talk about the situation the next day when everyone is rested and calm.
Is Drowsy Driving a Risk for Teen Drivers in Alabama and Louisiana?
Yes. The first things that come to mind for teens who are first-time drivers may be loud music, texting while driving, or speeding, but driving drowsy is a form of driving impaired even if it is caused by a busy school schedule, work schedule, or social life. Teenagers need plenty of sleep to function well. Set curfews and schedule expectations with your teen to help them be well rested and ready to be safe behind the wheel.
What Are Some Teen Driver Driving Tips for Nighttime Driving?
Make sure your teen has plenty of practice driving after dark with a parent in the car. Do your best to impress on them that driving after dark is simply different — you can’t see as well or as far, and neither can the other drivers (who may be more likely to be driving drowsy or driving impaired after dark). Unless it is summer and they have an early schedule (and what teen who lives in Alabama or Louisiana wants an early summer schedule?), at some point, your teen will be driving after dark. Practice may not make perfect, but it will protect them.
What Should a Teen Driver Do If an Accident Happens?
Make sure your teen driver understands to contact the police and exchange insurance information with the other driver in the event of an accident. Keep insurance and registration information in a handy place in the car so they can find it easily. Also, encourage your teen driver to call you as soon as possible in the event of an accident. It always helps to have advice from an experienced driver when they are in a stressful situation.
If an accident happens (and one may), be sure to keep calm yourself, too. Your teen’s safety is the most important thing. Make sure that they call the police and get assistance immediately if anyone is or could be injured. Things like property damage can be dealt with after the people are all safe.
How to Find Affordable Car Insurance for Your Teen Driver in Alabama and Louisiana
We all know that car insurance for teen drivers can be astronomical. That’s because, as a group, they are more likely to cost the insurance company money by getting into accidents and having tickets. Luckily, this only lasts for a few years, and, if they keep their record clean, their insurance will go down. That’s probably one of the most important tips you can share with your teen driver.