Turning 16 has long been a rite of passage that meant a young person could drive. Today, however, driver’s education classes are no longer included in the high school curriculum, so students are sometimes ready to drive sooner — or later — than 16.
In many states, teens as young as 14 can get a permit to drive back and forth to school as long as they’ve completed driver’s education classes and meet other requirements. But is your teen ready to drive to school on their own? Do you have the right car insurance that offers competitive pricing and the proper coverage?
Here are some things to consider before your teen heads to school.
What Is Your Teen’s Driving Skill Level?
No matter what age your student is, you are the one who can best assess whether they are ready to drive alone.
First, does your teen have a good understanding of the basic rules of the road? They should know how to signal and yield, and they have to be aware of the speed limit in different areas. There’s nothing wrong with needing more practice in these areas!
Second, how well does your teen know the route and handle different types of traffic? Driving in quiet neighborhoods is quite different than busy city streets. Also, it can be easy to get lost, especially if there’s construction or closed roads.
Finally, does your teen have a good grasp of defensive driving techniques? They should know how to handle bad weather conditions and what to do if they get into an accident.
If you feel comfortable they have the skills, you may be ready for them to drive to school.
Do They Make Good Decisions?
Before you hand over the keys, you want to know that your teen isn’t going to drop all the rules as soon as they are out of your sight.
Think about how they’ve handled peer pressure in the past and how likely they are to let friends talk them into giving unauthorized rides or driving too fast. Look at how they’ve handled other responsibilities, such as chores, caring for a pet, or a part-time job. If they’ve been responsible and level-headed, that’s a good sign.
From there, you can set expectations about driving and what will happen if they break the rules. You can always revoke their driving privileges if they can’t handle the responsibility right now. Remember, just because they can drive doesn’t mean they should. Driving to school, especially at a younger age, is a privilege that should be earned.
Is There Proper Insurance Coverage?
Parents often fear adding their teen to their car insurance coverage because of the increase in rates that happens when an inexperienced driver is on your policy. However, if your teen isn’t listed but is driving the car, you might have trouble getting coverage for an accident.
The best option isn’t to avoid insurance but to shop around for the right rates. Freeway Car Insurance can give you quotes on a car insurance policy that includes your teen and helps you choose an affordable policy that makes the most sense for you.
When your teen is driving, the right insurance will give you peace of mind that any accidents will be covered.
Encourage Safety on the Road
Most teens are excited to get their driver’s license and eager to drive alone as soon as possible. As a parent, you have the final say over whether they’re ready or not.
By encouraging safe driving, you can allow your teen freedom while teaching responsibility. Getting behind the wheel is a rite of passage that doesn’t have to be a stressful time if handled correctly.