The best way to maintain the cheap teen car insurance rates is to give your kid the skills he or she needs to avoid accidents. Since skill comes with experience, that means making sure your teenager gets plenty of practice time with you in the car. If you’re like most parents, you’re going to wait for a sunny day and an uncrowded street. That’s okay for the first few lessons, but sooner or later, you need to find the nerves to up the risk ante. Teaching teens to drive under adverse conditions like rain, snow, fog and rush hour freeway traffic will help them develop the skills to handle those situations on their own. Here are some tips, pointers and rules of road you can impart to your teen driver before the two of you venture out for a driving lesson in bad weather or heavy traffic.
- Always make sure the car is in good operating condition with enough gas to get where you’re going. Teach your child how to check and top-off basic fluid levels and how to check tires for proper pressure. It’s not a bad idea to show your child how to change a flat tire and use jumper cables to charge a battery.
- Equip your teen’s car with an emergency kit that includes a gas card for emergency fuel, a can of tire inflator and sealer, jumper cables or, even better, a charger that works from inside the car that will also power up a dead cell phone, bottled water, energy bars and a couple of blankets.
- Explain to your teen the need to reduce speed and increase braking distance when road conditions are poor and visibility is reduced. Emphasize that the goal is to arrive alive. If the weather is really bad, your child should find a safe place to wait it out, preferably by pulling off the road and into a well lit, populated place.
- Teach your teen driver how to gently and evenly apply the brakes on wet or icy roads to avoid hydroplaning or skidding.
- If at all possible, let your teen driver practice controlled skidding on wet pavement in a large, empty parking lot.
- Make it a rule that your teen driver must turn the headlights on anytime windshield wipers are needed. This is the law in many states now, but a good rule to follow even if it isn’t mandated.
The more confident your teen driver is behind the wheel in bad weather, the more likely he or she is to avoid accidents, maintain a good driving record and qualify for the cheap teen car insurance available.