Insurance and Finance

How to Be the Best Backseat Driver for Your Teen

By Kristy Alpert 8.24.15

Passing the driving baton (or keys, in this case) isn’t the easiest thing to do, but training and setting boundaries for your teen driver can make the transition easier and safer for you both.

Experts report that the first six months after a teen gets his or her license are the most dangerous. Luckily, parents play a huge role in keeping new teen drivers safe by doing everything from preparing them for the realities of the road to helping select safe starter cars.

“For teen drivers, parents should buy an older car, not a sports car,” advises Rick McKay, agency manager for the Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Company in Karnes County. “Have you ever seen a teenager’s car without dents? Also, I always advise parents with new teen drivers to increase their bodily injury and property damage liability limits because their risk is going to increase substantially.”

Use this checklist to smooth the path for your teen driver.

  • Be a passenger with your new driver, making sure to ride along during both daylight hours and at night
  • Set firm driving rules, such as wearing a seatbelt and not using a cell phone while driving
  • Establish driving limits (e.g., no driving after 10 p.m., approved driving radiuses, and a maximum number of passengers allowed in the car at one time)
  • Discuss topics like managing road rage and the dangers of distracted driving
  • Discuss proper vehicle maintenance, such as checking tire pressure and fluid levels
  • Contact your Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agent to make sure your new driver is covered under your plan

Coverage and discounts are subject to qualifications and policy terms and may vary by situation. © 2015 Texas Farm Bureau Insurance