Is your teen ready for a car?
With more than 30,000 deaths and serious injuries on the UK`s roads in 2007, the dangers of reckless and aggressive driving have rarely been more apparent. According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), youngsters, and particularly teenage boys, are responsible for more accidents and deaths than any other age group meaning it`s vital to ensure your teen is well prepared before they begin driving on their own.
How to prepare your teen for the road
There are a number of legal requirements that must be met before your teen can begin to drive:
• They must hold a valid provisional driving licence for Great Britain or Northern Ireland.
• Any vehicle they drive must be roadworthy, taxed and insured.
• The accompanying driver must be over the age of 21 and must have held (and still hold) a full licence, in the relevant vehicle category, for three years.
• All learner drivers must display `L` plates (`L` or `D` plates in Wales) at the front and rear of the vehicle.
• The earliest a teen can apply for a provisional licence is three months prior to their 17th birthday. Generally it will only become valid from the date of their 17th birthday.
Though it can be tempting to provide all the tuition for your teen to save them the expense of driving lessons, professional tuition is advisable. This is because most drivers slip into bad habits over time and may not be aware of the latest rules and regulations that will be applied during a driving test. Therefore, while providing supplemental tuition is advantageous it`s still well worth investing in a professional driving school or lessons.
If you are paying someone to teach your teenager to drive, they must be approved and registered with the Driving Standards Agency (DSA). According to recent surveys nine out of ten learners who pass both their theory and practical tests first time have had professional tuition.
How to keep teen drivers safe on the road
Young drivers have some of the highest road accident statistics with 18-year-olds involved in 50 collisions a day on the UK`s roads. To keep teen drivers safe they must be educated on several key aspects:
– Behind the wheel of a car is not a suitable place to feel invincible.
– Young drivers tend to drive too fast, and in turn this leads to accidents.
– According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, 41 per cent of teens who die while behind the wheel are not wearing a seatbelt.
• Choice of vehicle
– Choose a car that isn`t modified and has a small engine .
• Drugs and alcohol
– Driving under the influence can negatively affect reaction times – even small amounts of alcohol below the legal limit and prescription drugs can cause problems.
• Too many passengers
– According to studies at the John Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health, the risk of deadly accidents among young people rises in line with the number of passengers they have on board.
Car insurance for teens
Young drivers and new drivers typically pay high car insurance premiums, with the Sainsbury`s Car Insurance Index revealing that 17- to 24-year-olds pay £1,249.56 per year on average.
To secure cheap young driver car insurance
, teens should shop around for quotes using a comparison website. Further savings can be made by undertaking a Pass Plus course after completing the practical test. Teens should drive cars with small engines, look for policies with rapid bonus no-claims schemes and most importantly drive safely, to make savings.