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How parents cope with teenage drivers and high car insurance rates

Parents may be particularly concerned about their teens that are going to begin driving in the winter, MetLife noted recently. The combination of inexperience behind the wheel and poor driving conditions resulting from rain, snow and ice can instill fear when teens begin pushing to learn how to drive or ask to borrow a car.

With the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reporting that vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for those between 15 and 20 years old, responsible for about one-third of fatalities in that age group, the worry is understandable.

Evaluating a Driver’s Readiness

Car Insurance provider Allstate notes some parents may have difficulty teaching and find having another trusted adult instruct their teen is a better choice. When interacting, parents should ensure they give new drivers the opportunity to evaluate and correct their own mistakes and praise them for good performance as well as pointing out flaws in their child’s driving. Talking to a teen too much may also serve as an unintentional distraction.

According to MetLife, parents may benefit from taking a turn as a passenger before teaching. If not, the change in viewpoint might affect their perceptions without them realizing it. They can also take the lead by demonstrating good safety habits, such as not texting or talking on cellphones while behind the wheel.

Helping Teen Drivers Learn

MetLife notes patience, preparation and a consistent approach can help parents have a major impact on how their teens drive. Reinforcing proper driving behaviors, such as turning, yielding and obeying speed limits appropriately can reduce the chance of teens getting into collisions.

“Numerous studies show that learning good driving habits with a seasoned driver is a very effective way to decrease the likelihood of crashes and fatalities for teens. This is especially important during bad weather months, when good driving is of the utmost importance,” said MetLife Auto and Home president Bill Moore.

Changing Auto Insurance Rates and Needs

When teens do begin to drive, they will need to either purchase their own auto insurance coverage or be added to their parents’ policies. Young drivers typically have higher auto insurance rates, and teens may be more careful if they are aware of the financial costs speeding and other violations can impose by causing those rates to climb higher.