Letting your teenager take your car can be an exciting life event for your entire family, but sending off a younger driver might also be incredibly nerve-wracking. Luckily, there are a few simple things that you can do to ensure that the new driver in your family remains as safe as possible while out on the road.
1. An Excellent Insurance Policy
Well before you even think about letting your child borrow your car, you must take a very close look at your auto insurance policy. If you let your child use your vehicle without putting them on your policy, then you could end up dealing with huge financial and legal problems down the road. Even if your child takes your vehicle without your permission, you might end up being liable for the damages if an accident takes place and you didn’t update your insurance to include them.
2. Comprehensive Mechanical Inspections
As a general rule, you should be having your vehicle serviced by a professional mechanic at least once every few months, and those maintenance appointments will be especially important once your teen starts driving. No one wants to put a new driver in a situation where they are going to have to deal with major mechanical problems when they are out on the road at high speeds. New drivers often also have bad habits such as parking too close to the curb, turning too sharply, and others that can damage the tires and axle alignment. These too should be checked and maintained regularly in the vehicle your teenager drives.
3. A Car Tracking Device
While tracking your child whenever they borrow the car might seem like an overstep, one of those devices could keep your child safe if a major issue takes place. Many modern trackers will alert you or contact the local law enforcement agency as soon as an accident occurs. A tracking device can also be used to ensure that your child is driving safely and staying under the speed limit at all times.
4. Covered Liabilities
When a teenager is driving, there is a lot that can go wrong legally. The stress of being a new driver leads to a lot of hasty decisions, such as backing out without looking first, illegal turns and u-turns, speeding, parking violations, and most commonly, getting rear-ended from stopping too suddenly. In these situations, you want to make sure that a small mistake doesn’t mar your child’s driving records for life. Even if you never end up needing one, having an ideal attorney picked out for car accident law is extremely helpful when dealing with new drivers in the family. You can even use initial consultations to find out ways you can further protect your child in terms of driving liability.
In addition to these protections, you must also make sure that your teen understands that they need to follow all driving laws while out on the road. That includes keeping their hands off their phone and making sure that there are no other distractions in the vehicle.
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