Teen Driver Safety - Spencer Insurance Agency, Inc

October 19 – 25, 2014 is National Teen Driver Safety Week

texting and driving

Spencer Insurance is committed to Teen Driver Safety. During National Teen Driver Safety Week our agency will be posting valuable tips all week on our Facebook Page about Teen Driver Safety (https://www.facebook.com/spencerinsuranceagency). Check us out. Go to our page and click “Like” so you will be sure to receive these valuable tips.

Have you checked out our “Parents of Teen Drivers” website? This website provides parents valuable information as they undertake teaching their teen driver to be a safe driver. Some of the content we share is:

  • Tips and Suggestions including a “Teenager – Parent Driving Contract”
  • A list of driver education schools in the area
  • Valuable links including links to Pa, NJ and DE Department of Motor Vehicles
  • A link to our “Safe Teen Driving Course” which provides 16 lessons for parents to use when they are completing the 65 hours of mandated adult-supervised skill building with their student driver.

Go to our “Parent of a Teen Driver” website for this valuable information.

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute has a special website to support National Teen Driver Safety Week. Go to our “Parents of Teen Drivers” website to link onto this site. CHOP provides Stats and Facts along with additional links and multimedia presentations.

Spending some quality time teaching your teen driver to be a safe driver is one of the best things a parent can do to keep their child alive. Teaching by example is the most effective technique. Today, cell phone distraction has become the number one killer of teen drivers, surpassing the number of teenager drinking and driving deaths. What example are you showing your teen driver?

Let Spencer Insurance help you by taking advantage of the material we provide on our “Parent of Teen Drivers” website. And . . . don’t forget to review your auto insurance to make sure you have enough protection as you are 5 times more likely to have an accident in your household if you have a teen driver.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.teendriversource.org/more_pages/page/support_national_teen_driver_safety_week_now_for_parents/for_parents

Looking for a Safe and affordable car for you teen driver?

Picking up the keys

 

IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) has released their 2014 Top Safety Picks for used vehicles to buy your teen driver. Research has shown that teen drivers aren’t driving safe cars.  The institute has put together a list of affordable vehicles that meet important safety criteria.

 

So if you are shopping for a car for your teen driver to use check out the list!

School is out! Time for that talk with your teen driver. . .

teen-driver5
Summer brings a break from school and an increase in the time your teen drivers spend in the car.

Here are a couple tips:

  • Spend some time with your teen driver in teaching them how to merge onto an expressway or interstate highway and practice changing lanes. Many of us will travel to vacation spots and use interstate highways. Why not use this as a teaching moment for your teen driver.
  • Set the rules for Teen Driving. Remind them of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations “5 to Drive Rules.”
    1. No cell phones while driving
    2. No extra passengers
    3. No Speeding
    4. No Alcohol
    5. Always buckle up.

Most accidents are caused by driver inattention and distraction. Stress safe driving habits with your teen driver.  Review the parent/teen contract on our website to set expectations for your teen driver. For more tips for parents of teen drivers go to our website at www.spencerinsurance.com.  This website is full of information for the parents of teen drivers.

 

Have a safe an enjoyable summer!

 

Distracted Driving – Not Just Your Cell Phone!

Dangerous Call

While distracted driving includes the use of cell phones, there are many other dangerous driving distractions.

In a web post (https://www.travelers.com/prepare-prevent/auto/distracted-driving/distracted-driving-statistics.aspx ), Travelers Insurance talks about the many distractions we face while driving.  The bottom line is that anything that takes your eyes off the road is a driving distraction.

Here is a list of some of the distractions and consequences mentioned in that article:

  • Cell phone use – Did you know during the average text your eyes are off the road the length of a football field? You are 23 times more likely to have an accident if you text while driving.
  • Eating – You are 2 times more likely to have an accident if you eat while driving.
  • Dropping a water bottle – Find a safe place and pull over to retrieve the water bottle. You are 9 times more likely to have an accident when you try to retrieve something.
  • Personal Grooming – Wait until you are in the parking lot. You are 3 times more likely to have an accident if groom yourself while driving.

There are many other distractions like reading, checking your GPS, changing the radio channel or CD, reviewing your IPod and looking at people in the back seat.

All of us need to be careful with driving distractions.  As summer approaches more teen drivers will be on the road.  Make sure you review the dangers of distracted driving with your family.  Driving is not the time to multi task.

For more tips for the parents of teen drivers check out our Teen Driver Website!

We are excited to announce our Re-Designed Website for the Parents of Teen Drivers

We are excited to announce our re-designed Spencer Insurance Teen Driver Website designed for the parents of Teen Drivers!
This Website is designed specifically to help the parents of teen drivers. I remember the highs and lows of teaching my four children to drive.  Actually my wife, Tammy did a much better job of teaching our children how to become safe drivers.  I wish we had the tools available to you when Tammy and I were teaching our four children to drive.
On the website we have many tools to help you:

Make sure you talk to us about reviewing your auto insurance policy to make sure you have the proper coverage now that you have teen drivers.  I would also recommend you purchase an umbrella policy.  Call us today at 215-885-2200for a review of your coverage!

Your friends at Spencer Insurance Agency, Inc.,

Teen Driver Lesson #4

Picking up the keys

Lesson 4

(Sometimes you have to go backward to go forward.)

Your teen feels comfortable behind the wheel and with the basic operation of the motor vehicle.  In order to demonstrate this skill, have your teen back the car out of the garage.  Many teens fear they will scrape the side of the garage while backing the car out because they are not truly comfortable with the vehicle dimensions.

Safety Tip:  Make sure the garage door is all the way up!

 

 

You are now ready to take your teen on the road and put to use some of the skills they have learned.  This lesson should be performed in a small neighborhood where there is minimal vehicle and foot traffic.

For the first time they may encounter another moving vehicle or a vehicle parked at the side of the road.  Try to remember the anxiety you felt the first time you approached an oncoming vehicle.  It is imperative the teen have a “feel” for the dimensions of their car.

Practice defensive driving.  Teach your teen to anticipate probable problem situations.  For example, scan the sides of the road for small children that may dart onto the road.   Anticipate that a parked car may suddenly pull out in front of you from the side of the road.

Turning is much different on the road from an empty parking lot.  Practice making turns at an intersection both from a stop and while moving.  Many teens struggle with gauging when to start turning, applying brake pressure and accelerating out of a turn.  Again, finish the lesson with your teen acting as the instructor.

Lesson #4

(Neighborhood with minimal traffic)

Orientation

(15 Minutes)

Grade

(A, B, C)

Comments, Praise   and

Areas of   Improvement

 

Review   Previous Lesson

   
 

Safety   Check

   
 

Discuss   Today’s Lesson

   

Driving Experience

( 1 Hour)

Grade

(A, B, C)

Comments, Praise   and

Areas of   Improvement

Introduce   New Skill:

Garage   Parking

   
 

Backing   Out of Garage

   
 

Parking   in Garage

   
 

Backing   Down Driveway

   
Introduce   New Skill:

Driving   in Neighborhood

   
Approaching   an Intersection    
 

Passing   a Parked Car

   
 

Oncoming   Car

   
 

Turning   a Corner

   

Review

(15 Minutes)

 

Comments, Praise   and

Areas of   Improvement

 

Garage   Parking

   
 

Neighborhood   Driving

   
 

Parking

   

Call us at 215-885-2200 for more tips for the Parents of Teen Drivers. Check out our Parent of Teen Driver Website.

 

 

Tools for the Parents of Teen Drivers – Lesson #3

Picking up the keys

Lesson #3

(Parking… and we don’t mean at the drive-in!)

Most new drivers are afraid to park the car because they are not comfortable judging the distance from their bumper to the other car.  If the braking exercises were effective in Lesson 2, your teen may be doubly apprehensive.  However, before they can venture onto the road, they must be comfortable with all the dimensions of the vehicle.

For this exercise practice all types of parking.

Safety Tip:  Begin your parking exercises by using empty plastic trash cans to designate the other vehicles.

 

Don’t forget to show your teen how to set (and take off) the parking brake when parking on a hill.

 

Lesson #3

(Parking Lot)

Orientation

(15 Minutes)

Grade

(A, B, C)

Comments, Praise   and

Areas of   Improvement

 

Review   Previous Lesson

   
 

Safety   Check

   
 

Discuss   Today’s Lesson

   

Driving Experience

( 1 Hour)

Grade

(A, B, C)

Comments, Praise   and

Areas of   Improvement

Introduce   New Skill:

Parking

   
 

Straight   In Parking

   
 

Angled   Parking

   
Parallel   Parking (Use Trash Cans as Cars)    
 

Parking   on a Hill

   
 

Practice   Backing

   

Review

(15 Minutes)

 

Comments, Praise   and

Areas of   Improvement

 

Parking

   
 

Scanning   the Road

   
 

Blind   Spot

   

 

 

Additional Comments:

 

 

Skills to review for next lesson:


Tools for the Parents of Teen Drivers – Lesson 2

Picking up the keys

Lesson 2

(No shopping cart races)

Start this lesson with a review of Lesson 1 and summarizing the skills you will be teaching today.  The emphasis of this lesson should be on vehicle control and stopping the vehicle.

While driving it is important to be aware of where all the vehicles are on the road.  In order to monitor the other vehicles on the road, a driver must effectively utilize his/her mirrors.  This would be a good time to demonstrate the blind spot.  While the auto is parked, stand in the blind spot to help your teen adjust the side mirrors.  They will not realize until you physically show them this spot is real!  Note:  the side mirrors need to be adjusted out, you should only see a TRACE of the side of the auto.  The KEY is what is next to the auto and outwards.  The teen needs to KNOW all autos are different; some vehicles have larger blind spots than others.

Safety Tip:  Apply the small convex mirrors to both side mirrors. These mirrors increase the view TREMENDOUSLY!

                      

One of the top 5 mistakes teens make is following too closely.  They do not realize the distance it takes to stop a vehicle.  Once your teen is feeling a little more comfortable behind the wheel, have them simulate an emergency stop.

Safety Tip:  Walk off the distance it takes to stop the vehicle from various speeds.  Try using the marked white lines or bring a few cones to mark the distance. This process will help your teen realize just how long it takes to stop the car.  Stress how the distance will increase at highway speeds.

 

Most vehicles on the road today are equipped with the ABS (Anti-Locking Brake Systems) safety feature.  Try to engage this safety feature today.  Depending on the size of the parking lot you are using, this may be difficult to do.  However, it is important for your teen to experience this safety feature in a controlled environment for the first time.

Lesson # 2

(Parking Lot)

Orientation

(15 Minutes)

Grade

(A, B, C)

Comments, Praise   and

Areas of   Improvement

Review   Previous Lesson

Safety   Check

Discuss   Today’s Lesson

Driving Experience

( 1 Hour)

Grade

(A, B, C)

Comments, Praise   and

Areas of   Improvement

 

 

Review   Starting

Review   Stopping

Review   Turning  Introduce   New Skill:  Scanning the Road

Scan   Forward

Scan   Side to Side

Blind   Spot

Use   of Mirrors  Introduce   New Skill:

Backing

Backing   Straight

Turning   While Backing

Review

(15 Minutes)

 

Comments, Praise   and

Areas of   Improvement

Scanning   the Road (Anticipating Problems)

 

Backing

Good   Points

 

Additional Comments:

Skills to review for next lesson:


Tools for the Parents of Teen Drivers – Lesson #1

Picking up the keys

Lesson #1

(Letting Go is hard to do!)

Safety Tip:  MAP or visually locate the POLES and other FIXED obstacles in the parking lot.  Locate pedestrians, bikers and boarders. DO not forget, you might be sharing the parking lot.

Start slowly by taking your teen to a deserted school or church parking lot.   The first day should be conducted under ideal driving conditions.  Find a place with wide open space and no traffic.  Limit their speed to no more than 15 mph.

Make sure your teen is comfortable accelerating, braking and turning.  The object of this lesson is for them to become comfortable behind the wheel and feel in control of the vehicle before driving on a public road.  It is imperative that you correct any improper use of technique before a habit can be formed.

This is a learning experience for your teen as well as for you, as an instructor.  Determine your teens’ skill level and observe how your teen learns.  One of the most common mistakes you can make as an instructor is to assume your teen is familiar with driving or the operation of the vehicle.

Safety Tip:  Driving instruction is NOT just while the teen drives. YOU should be engaging the teen driver while you drive (even the pre-teen).

Start the lesson with you acting as the instructor and end the lesson with your teen acting as the instructor.  One of the best ways to learn a subject is to teach the subject.  By reversing roles, your teen will be demonstrating their full comprehension of the lesson.

This lesson may need to be repeated several times before both of you are comfortable venturing onto a public road.   There is no need to rush this phase of the process.  Make sure your teen is comfortable behind the wheel before moving on to the next set of skills.

   Safety Tip:  Use games to teach your teen about driving.  For example:

  1. Spot the loser – Identify the worst driver on the road.  Have your teen explain the errors the driver is making.
  2. Count the errors – See how many errors you can see other drivers make.
  3. Predict the move – try to predict the next move of the other vehicles on the road.

Your teen is and HAS BEEN thinking driving is easy. They do NOT know all the decisions you make as you drive down the road.  Don’t just tell them; tell them WHILE you are processing the decisions.

 

Lesson #1

(Parking Lot)

Orientation

(15 Minutes)

Grade

(A, B, C)

Comments, Praise and

Areas of Improvement

 

Vehicle Safety Check

   
 

Adjust Seat & Mirrors

   
Review Vehicle Controls & Gauges    

Driving Experience

( 1 Hour)

Grade

(A, B, C)

Comments, Praise and

Areas of Improvement

 

Starting the Engine

   
Engaging the Transmission    
 

Use of Mirrors

   
 

Moving Forward

   
 

Acceleration

   
 

Braking

   
 

Stopping Distance

   
 

Turning

   
 

Orientation on the Road

   

Review

(15 Minutes)

 

Comments, Praise and

Areas of Improvement

 

Stopping Distances

   
 

Orientation on the Road

   
Scanning the Road (Anticipating Problems)    
 

Good Points

   

 

Additional Comments:

 

Skills to review for next lesson:


Tuesday’s Teen Driver Tip: What car should you buy or give to your teen driver?

Picking up the keys

In case you’re planning to buy your teen a car for Christmas this year, or you’re
trying to decide which of your existing cars might be the best one for her to drive,
recognize that the car that provides the greatest amount of safety should be your
first choice.

To determine which vehicles avoid and withstand crashes best rely on the Top
Safety Picks from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).  This nonprofit
organization, which is funded by auto insurers, tests and rates the safety of vehicles
based on their performance during several critical tests.

Now the IIHS is not the organization that provides the safety rating on a car’s
window sticker where you also see fuel ratings, list of features and price.  Those
ratings are provided by a federal agency, the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration (NHTSA).  So you can’t rely on that data to determine which cars
earned the Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick + rating which was introduced
in 2013 to recognize models with the best crash protection.  Go here to get a
complete list of the 2013 Top Safety Picks  and Top Safety Picks + winners by
type/size.

If you’re looking for a 2014 model, those safety picks will be announced in December;
so watch for updates.  See Officer Poer’s article below for more details on what it
takes to achieve these designations.

Thank you for doing everything you can to promote teen driver safety.

Wishing you safe and happy holidays!

Charlie

PS Please feel free to call our office at 215-885-2200 to get more information on how to teach your teen to be a safe driver.

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