Keeping your Teen Safe on the Road

Keeping your teen safe on the road

Did you know that 1 out of 6 newly licensed teens will get in a crash within the first 6 months? The more you talk to your kids about safe driving, the safer and more responsible they’ll be behind the wheel. Here are some things to look for and some things you can do to address them:


Teens tend to drive too fast for road conditions and are more likely to speed than adults. If you learn that your kids are speeding, talk to them about why and figure out a solution (or consequence for this kind of behavior) together.

Harsh Braking

Teens fail to recognize and respond to hazards. The number of car lengths teens should leave between them and the car in front of them is 3. Remind your kids to constantly scan the road for hazards and keep a safe distance from other cars on the road.

Distracted Driving

Teens are 3 times more likely to crash or nearly crash while texting. 1 out of 3 teens admit to texting or emailing while driving. Make sure your teen also knows that distracted driving isn’t just about texting.  It’s anything that takes your eyes off the road for more than two seconds. Some examples of distracted driving include reaching for a water bottle, talking to passengers, putting on makeup, looking at an accident, looking at the GPS and changing the radio.

Late Night & Weekend Driving

Teens are more likely to get in an accident between the hours of 9:00pm and 3:00am. Weekends claim more teens’ lives than all weekdays combined. Most states have graduated license laws that restrict new drivers from being on the road after a certain time. Know your California laws and enforce them with your teens.

 Drinking & Driving

89% of teens admit to drinking and driving. 24% admit to riding with a driver who has been drinking. Even moderate amounts of alcohol (below the legal limit) can dramatically increase a teen driver’s risk of a fatal crash. Reinforce that no drinking and driving means no alcohol, period.

 Too Many Passengers

For each additional teenage passenger, the risk of a teen driver dying in an accident goes up. Graduated License laws restrict teen drivers from taking along their friends. Know California laws and consider imposing passenger restrictions of your own until your teen gains more experience.


Now that you know what to look for, here are some tips for successfully talking to your kids about safe driving:

  • Lead by example: Drive safely when your teen is in the car
  • Get involved in your teen’s driving education: Make sure they’re putting in enough hours on the road
  • Stay involved: Once your teen has their license, don’t relax the rules too much
  • Know and reinforce your state’s FDL laws: They’re proven to help, and in many cases, parents are the laws’ main enforcers
  • Be supportive: Take a coaching approach that sets expectations, gives clear instruction and encourages good behavior
  • Encourage your teen to sign a safe driving contract.

Your friends at Apollo Insurance Services can give you a safe driving contract for you and your teen.  Give us a call today at 800.426.1088 to request one.


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