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When teens begin the process of obtaining their driver’s license, they are nervous and excited. It is a significant leap in experience and responsibility from their early teens.

For that reason, it’s wise to spend extra time to ensure your teen has the right attitude, training and habits to keep them safe on Ontario’s streets and highways.

Teenage drivers have a much higher rate of accidents. Due to the high cost of personal injury claims and automobiles damaged in collisions (often, vehicles are written off), the government was forced to introduce graduated licensing and push for more driver training for teens.

There’s a lot to learn to drive safely and not get charged with moving violations. However, driver training and stern warnings aren’t enough to ensure your teen drives safely now and in 5 years when they may still be covered under your auto insurance policy.

The police and courts may have the final say about a teen’s driving skills and regard for safety, but parents have the greatest influence on a teen’s driving record. We all went through those teen driver years and we know some of us took safety seriously and some didn’t. The consequences of careless driving can be sickening.

Today, teens are highly influenced by their culture, particularly peer pressure, which involves the glorification of driving fast, and the distractions of eating food, texting, and talking with friends in the car. Your teen needs more than discipline and short discussions about speeding or texting.

Not so surprisingly, teens report that their parents often don’t drive well either, and even texting while driving. It’s this example that shows how important the parental influence is.

Calm, Sensible Attitudes about Operating a Dangerous Machine

Your teen isn’t a trained racing or stunt driver so they won’t know how an automobile reacts at 100 kph when they might require slamming on the brakes or avoiding a rollover. By anticipating the situation and being alert, they can avoid many of the dangers they’ll face.

Driver training helps them to anticipate, follow the rules of the road, and safely drive with consideration for others. By being in the car with your teen, you’ll be able to help them deal with their emotions and with driving needs intelligently and safely.

A positive, safety-first attitude toward driving helps ensure they won’t be involved in an accident. That way your insurance won’t rocket northward when they get involved in a collision. Teens need to see the negative consequences of bad driving, otherwise they’re not sure there is an actual bad result from bad driving.

It’s not unheard for a young male’s insurance premiums to jump to over $10,000 per year after they’ve been involved in a serious accident.

Driving in congested traffic as you do anywhere in the GTA region, it isn’t easy for anyone to avoid a collision.

Here’s our top 10 tips to help your teen drive smartly:

  1. Keep eyes on the road and not on people or commercial advertising nearby
  2. Keep chatter with friends to a minimum in the car
  3. Do not eat or drink or text while driving
  4. Never drink alcohol any time before driving
  5. Drive cautiously, observing speed signs and traffic signs
  6. Anticipate traffic conditions ahead such as stop lights
  7. Drive at an appropriate speed for the road conditions
  8. Take qualified drivers training
  9. Drive a safe vehicle
  10. Do not drive when tired and exhausted

Your influence is vital in ensuring your teen drives safely without incident, and without injury and death. About 400 teens are killed each year on Canada’s roadways. Read more about teen driving statistics.

How do you feel about no fault insurance, red light camera tickets, and usage based auto insurance? Are the penalties for texting and driving strong enough to be a real deterrent?

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