Back-to-School Driving Tips for Student and Parents
School is back in session and many high school and college students will be driving more as they commute to and from school, which makes now a good time to remind your student driver about safe driving practices.
In 2009, approximately 3,000 teens in the United States were killed in car crashes and more than 350,000 were treated for crash-related injuries, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Center for Disease Control. Don’t let your student driver become part of this statistic – encourage him to stay focused while on the road and follow these safety tips:
- Don’t talk on the phone or text while driving. Not only is texting or using a hand-held phone while driving illegal in many states, it’s also a dangerous distraction. Of those killed in crashes caused by distracted driving, 18 percent were the result of using a cell phone while driving. Using a cell phone while driving – even with a hands-free device – delays a driver’s reaction as much as having a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent, according to the University of Utah.
- Always wear a seat belt and make all your passengers wear one, too.
- Abide by the speed limit. Going too fast gives you less time to stop or react. Excessive speed is one of the top causes of teenage car accidents.
- Don’t drink and drive or ride with someone who has consumed alcohol. If you need a ride call a friend, family member, or taxi. Car crashes are the No. 1 cause of death for teens and one of three of these crashes is alcohol related.
- Keep the music down. Driving with the volume on the stereo turned up may seem harmless, but it can be just as much of a distraction as using a cell phone.
- Don’t try to squeeze too many people into a car. You should never have more people in a car than you do seat belts.
- Abide by all traffic lights and signs. Don’t run red lights or stop signs, and make sure the intersection is clear even if the light is green.
Keeping your student driver safe on the road is important and part of that means making sure he has the appropriate auto insurance coverage. Your independent insurance agent can help you find the right coverage for your student driver and answer any questions you have about the insurance. You should also ask your independent insurance agent about student driver discounts, such as the good student discount, which can save you 10 to 15 percent on your premium if your student has a B average. Student drivers who have completed an accredited driver education or training course may also be eligible for a discounted auto insurance rate.