Thursday, June 23, 2016

Four Tips to Keep Your Teen Driver Safe (and Your Insurance Costs Low)

Your child has finally reached the age of 16 and can now legally drive. However, the freedom of having a driver’s license comes with an immense sense of responsibility. While it’s up to your teen to make good decisions behind the wheel, you can help keep him or her safe (and your insurance costs low) using these four tips.

  1. Discuss safe driving practices.
    Educate your teen on the dangers of the road and how to stay safe. Knowing distracted or impaired driving is a major cause of car accidents, explain the seriousness of drinking, texting and talking on the phone while driving.

    Even the most cautious drivers – adults and teens alike – are not immune to car accidents. To ensure safety continues after an accident, teach your teen these six steps.

  2. Partner with your teen to create driving rules.
    Help make safe driving a reality by creating an agreement that outlines the rules, restrictions and penalties that accompany your teen’s driving privileges.

    This example from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides a great foundation here. Make sure the agreement you develop includes curfew times, passenger limits and expectations for remaining focused while driving.

  3. Purchase (or offer) a safe car for your teenager to drive.
    If you ask teens to describe the ideal car, they'll likely say new, small, sporty and fast. Unfortunately, this answer is often the opposite of a safe car.

    If you plan to purchase or offer a car for your teen to use,  consider the following:

    • Safety: For a list of the safest vehicles for teenage drivers, check out this one from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), which includes cars of all different sizes, price ranges and model years. Also, make electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes and front and side airbags a priority.

    • Age and reliability: Brand new cars are typically equipped with the latest technology and safety features, but these can come at a premium. Older cars often have outdated safety features, are less reliable and can be more likely to breakdown.

    • Size: Stay away from compact cars and minicars, which are light and generally less safe. Likewise, larger vehicles, such as trucks and SUVs, can sometimes be difficult for a new driver to manage. Mid-sized sedans are usually a safe bet.

  4. Encourage good grades.

    Commonly, younger drivers have higher auto insurance premiums because they're more likely to have an accident (presenting a higher statistical risk). The good news is many insurance providers offer discounts for good grades. So, encourage your teen to do well in school, and your insurance provider may reward you financially.

If you're looking for other ways to save, don't forget about evaluating providers. For example, switching to the TruStage Auto & Home Insurance Program could save you up to $519.52* on auto insurance.

How ready are you to see your teenager behind the wheel?

*Average annual savings based on countrywide survey of new customers from 01/27/2014 to 01/16/2015 who reported their prior insurers' premiums when they switched to Liberty Mutual’s group auto and home program. Savings do not apply in MA.

TruStage® Auto & Home Insurance Program is made available by TruStage Insurance Agency, LLC and issued by leading insurance companies, including Liberty Mutual Insurance Company and affiliates, 175 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA. To the extent permitted by law, applicants are individually underwritten; not all applicants may qualify. Discounts are not available in all states and discounts vary by state. A consumer report from a consumer reporting agency and/or motor vehicle report will be obtained on all drivers listed on your policy where state laws and regulations allow. Please consult your policy for specific coverage and limitations. The insurance offered is not a deposit, and is not federally insured, sold or guaranteed by your credit union.