Auto insurance for teenage drivers is high because the statistics show young drivers to be poor risks. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety claims that your 16-year-old driver is six times more likely to be in an accident than drivers age 30 to 59. You can help your kids beat the odds, but you need to take steps early and often by setting a good example.
Human learning is largely about observation and emulation (with a little trial and error thrown in for the adventurous types). Like it or not, adults are role models and most kids are eager to follow the leader.
If your child sees you driving recklessly, scoffing at speed laws, rolling through stop signs, running yellow lights and cursing “those idiots” you share the road with, what kind of driver do you suppose he’ll grow up to be? Right! The kind you’re not likely to find cheap auto insurance quotes for.
On the other hand, just being a thoughtful, law-abiding driver isn’t enough to ensure your kid will get the message. You need to reinforce it constantly. Explain why you always keep one car length’s distance between you and the car ahead for every 10 miles per hour you’re driving. Point out the different speed limits and ask your kid why she thinks it’s 25 mph in a residential area. Talk about the impact of not coming to a full stop at a stop sign or failing to use your turn indicator. Don’t wait till your child is 15 and clambering for a learner’s permit. Get a copy of your state’s driver’s manual and read it together with you 10- or 12-year old. Quiz them and reward them for right answers. Make sure you always use your seat belt, too. And even if it’s still legal in your state, don’t talk on your cell phone while you’re driving (or put on make-up or engage in any other distracting behavior, either).
Talk to your pre-teenager about drugs and alcohol and role they play in traffic fatalities. Introduce your child to the Students Against Drunk Driving website (SADD.com). It’s an excellent source of statistics and information written for kids. You might even interest your child in signing SADD’s Contract for Life or joining the local chapter. Some insurance companies actually offer discounts for teen auto insurance to kids who participate in groups such as SADD.
Set a good example when your child is young and he’ll grow up to be a responsible teenage driver, giving you one less thing to worry about.