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A Guardians Guide: How to Help Teen Drivers Be Safe

Female Teen Driver

Good job researching how you can keep your teen driver safe. We hope we can help you and your teen feel more confident about hitting the road with these tips.

As a parent myself, I know it's important that before you hand your teen the keys, you establish some ground rules together to keep them safe. Keep in mind, every teen matures differently and will likely need different rules to help them be a smart driver.

Some rules to consider establishing with your teen driver can include:

  • No passengers, especially other teens

  • Minimize distractions

    • Make a list with your teen of specific things that may distract them (eating, music, phone calls, texting, social media, etc.)

  • Never drive under the influence of alcohol or any other drug. Also, never get in the car with anybody under the influence.

  • Follow the speed limit

  • Require everyone in the car to wear a seatbelt

  • Make it clear where they are and are not allowed to drive

  • Be home by set curfew

  • Follow traffic laws and signals

Consider utilizing videos and statistics from safety organizations like the "National Highway Traffic Safety Administration" to help explain why these rules are important.

Create a Parent-Teen Driving Contract

To help your ground rules stick, you can create a Parent-Teen Driving Contract. Your teen will sign the contract to show they understand and agree to the terms of their driving privilege. Driving is a privilege and a responsibility, not to be taken lightly. To help you get started, Auto-Owners Insurance created a contract template that can be found here.

Equip your teen's vehicle with safe driving features

Beyond setting rules for your teen's driving, evaluate the car they will be using, Is it safe? Consider finding a vehicle with some of the newer safety features, if possible.

Some car safety features that may help your teen include:

  • Automatic emergency braking (AEB)

  • Rear-view camera/360-degree camera

  • Blind spot detection

  • Lane departure warning (LDW)

  • Lane-keeping system (LKS)

  • Forward collision warning

Use an app to track your teen's driving

For ultimate accountability, consider using an app that tracks your teen's speed, phone usage, and location. There are several options in the app stores; some of them are even free. Your teen may fight you on this, but trust me, it will give you peace of mind knowing they are where they are supposed to be and not breaking the speed limit. For most apps, you will need to download the app on both your phone and your teen's phone.

Some popular apps include:

  • Mama Bear

  • Automatic

  • TrueMotion Family Safe Driving

  • Life 360

  • AT&T Drive Mode

Some phones and apps out there may also have drive detection, which can track when certain apps are used while driving. So, research your teen's phone capabilities to see what's available.

How do I add my teenager to my auto policy?

Contact us here at Kalmbaugh Insurance Agency and let us know that you need to add your teen as a rated driver. We will need to know what vehicle they will be operating, their daily commute, date of birth, and driver's license number.


Helping your teen navigate the responsibility and privilege of driving is daunting. Set boundaries, make a contract, give them lots of practice, be a good example, and keep the conversation about safe driving going!


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