UPDATED: Mar 1, 2020
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Collisions can cause monthly insurance rates to skyrocket, and while there are many discounts available to student drivers, new drivers remain the riskiest and most expensive group of drivers to insure. Decreasing the possibility of a collision is a practical way for parents to keep insurance rates low. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health lists poorly maintained vehicles as one of the leading causes of car crashes. By teaching your student driver to perform routine car maintenance and basic inspections, you can reduce the possibility of a collision.
Safeguarding against a collision is especially important for students who have already been involved in an accident. Insurance companies may choose to remove a student driver from their parents’ policy if he or she has a history of too many accidents. Cutting down on the possibility of car accidents works to keep a student on the family policy, bypassing the insurance hikes that occur when a student takes out his or her own insurance policy.
Teach Teens the Basics of Car Maintenance and Beyond
There are many routine car maintenance procedures that can help your student’s vehicle operate at optimal performance. They include checking a vehicle’s fluids, windshield wipers, lights, and tires. You should also talk to your student about more complicated car functions, like the brake and steering system, as malfunctions within these systems can lead to collisions.
You and your teen should both perform a walk-around of the vehicle on a weekly basis. Even if you don’t check every fluid and the pressure of every tire each week, regular visual inspections and light-checks will catch dangerous items like deflated tires or bad headlight or tail light bulbs. During these walk-arounds, have your teen listen to the engine, so they can be aware of what it’s supposed to sound like, and hopefully recognize if something starts misfiring.
Prevent the Dangers of Stalling
Additionally, talk to your student about keeping a full gas tank. Driving near-empty can cause a vehicle to break down at inopportune times, which in turn can lead to an accident. Encourage your student to fill up when gas is down to a quarter of a tank.
Remember that Teens Need Parents to Hold them Accountable
Consider writing a driving contract for yourself and your student and include routine maintenance practices as an article within the agreement. Driving contracts set clear expectations about the conditions in which the car should remain.
Never Stop Teaching
Education is the key for decreasing the possibility for collisions. Teach your student about car maintenance, and you won’t have to worry about high auto repair costs or spikes in your insurance rates. Safeguarding against mechanical failures and faulty equipment protects your child from those accidents associated with poorly maintained vehicles.