seat belt Archives - 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)


(15 Minutes)


(A, B, C)

Comments, Praise   and

Areas of   Improvement


Review   Previous Lesson


Safety   Check


Discuss   Today’s Lesson


Driving Experience

( 1 Hour)


(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



(15 Minutes)


Comments, Praise   and

Areas of   Improvement


Garage   Parking


Neighborhood   Driving




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



NHTSA unveils “5 to Drive” Teen Safety Campaign

This is Teen Driver Safety Week.  The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) unveiled a new campaign that challenges parents to discuss five critical driving practices with their teenage drivers that can have the greatest beneficial impacts in the event of a crash.

The “5 to Drive” campaign encourages parents to visit here and discuss with their teens
one safety topic each day during national teen driver safety week. The “5 to Drive” campaign topics are:

  1. No      cell phone use or texting while driving,
  2. No      extra passengers,
  3. No      speeding,
  4. No      alcohol, and
  5. No      driving or riding without a seat belt.

The objective of the campaign is to counteract poor driving decisions that have contributed to the high death rate among teen drivers.  Visit their website to help you start the discussion with your teen drivers.  Their life could depend on it!

Remember, our teens learn by our example.  Make sure you are setting a good example by following these 5 topics yourself.

For more tips for the parents of teen drivers go to our website and click     teen-driver                    .

Talk to your teen driver about Summertime Driving


I am sure you heard it before but it is worth repeating:  The leading cause of death for teenagers is traffic accidents.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), teenagers are three times more likely to have a fatal crash

Summertime is the worst time of year for Teen accidents.  According to the NHTSA “research shows which behaviors contribute to teen-related crashes.  Inexperience and  immaturity combined with speed, drinking and driving, not wearing seat belts, distracted driving (cell phone use, loud music, other teen passengers, etc), drowsy driving and nighttime driving aggravate the problem.”

Some Tips:

  • Make sure your teen understands that wearing seat belts is not an option.
  • Reduce the teen’s access to alcohol.
  • Discuss the use of cell phones while driving.  Start by being a good example. (teens learn behaviors by watching their parents).
  • Limit the number of passengers your teen has in your car.
  • Discuss consequences to unacceptable behavior. Consider a Teenager/Parent Driving Contract (we can provide you a sample).
  • Provide a “No Consequences” out for you teenager if they become drowsy or drunk.  Tell them to call you so you can pick them up and don’t lecture them right away.


Continue to teach your teens the benefits of safe driving.  We have a lot of information for parents of teen drivers.  Call us or go to our website at and click the “Have a Teen Driver?” starburst towards the middle of the home page.  Let us help you!  At Spencer Insurance, “Your Protection and Peace of Mind is our only Business!”

7 Costly Mistakes Parents Make When Buying Insurance For Teen Drivers

happy girl in the car

I don’t have space to discuss all 7 Costly Mistakes.  Check out the full Report on our Website.  I want to concentrate on the 3 Most Costly mistakes parents make when buying car insurance for teen drivers.

#3 Insuring your home and cars with 2 different agents – If you insure your home and cars with two different companies then you may be paying 25% more than you need to pay.  Since the price of car insurance for a policy that includes teen drivers is higher, that 25% extra could add up to a lot of your hard earned money.  An advantage of using an independent agent is that your agent can look at your entire account and place your insurance with the company that gives you the most competitive rates and the proper coverage.  On some occasions that may be two different companies but your independent agent can research which companies are best for you.

#2 Lower Liability Limits to Save Money –This mistake can be a financial disaster!  We get many requests to lower coverage to save a few bucks.  However, when you have a teen driver that is the time you need those higher limits.  Teen drivers are five times more likely to have an accident and the cost of a teen driver claim is 3 times higher.  As the saying goes. . . Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish.  A little savings now could cost you dearly in the future!

#1 Using an insurance employee as an agent – Don’t trust your hard earned money with someone who works directly for an insurance company.  Does that employee have your best interest at heart or the insurance company’s best interest?  You need an agent that can find ways to save you money even if that means splitting up your coverage with multiple companies. The insurance company employee can only offer you one company.  At Spencer Insurance we have many top notch insurance companies to offer you.  Our goal is to give you the proper protection at a very competitive price.  “Your Protection and Peace of Mind is our only Business.”  Make sure your family and friends have the proper coverage.  Pass this information to them and have them give us a call at 215-885-2200.  We reward you for your referrals!

A Great Resource for Parents of Teen Drivers. . .

Spencer Insurance has long been an advocate for the Parents of Teen Drivers.  I wanted to put the spotlight on one resource we can provide that is very valuable to the parent of a teen driver.

Have you seen our “Safe Teen Driver Guide?”

Our Safe Teen Driver Guide is a must for parents who are getting started in training a teen to be a safe driver.  The guide provides parents a 16 Lesson Plan.  Each lesson can be the basis for a one hour driving session with your teen driver.  Some of the lessons include tips for teaching teens to drive at night, in bad weather, on city streets and country roads.  It also provides lessons on what to do when an accident happens and vehicle orientation and maintenance.

Lesson 12 is a very timely lesson: Driving in Bad Weather.  This time of year, with wet leaves and snow, provides a great opportunity for parents to help their teen practice to drive in bad conditions.  Many of us avoid taking our teens out in these conditions.  Eventually they will need to learn how to drive in these conditions so why not try it out in a controlled area like a parking lot?

The Guide starts with an introduction, instructions on obtaining a PA Learner’s Permit and the Top 5 Mistakes teen drivers make.

This Guide is available to our clients at no cost.  Just email or call us for your copy.  We will also send a copy to your friends and family.  Just pass the information on to them and have them call our office for their free copy.  Make sure they tell us you told them to call us.

A parent’s responsibility to teach their teen to drive does not stop when their teen gets their license.  Continue to drive with your teen and practice driving in all types of conditions.  Make sure they master these 16 lessons even if they are already licensed.  Remember, driving is a privilege not a right.  Discuss with your teen consequences of their actions which could lead to them losing this privilege.   Let us help you.  Call us today to learn how we can help.

Check out our website for more valuable tips for Parents of Teen Drivers!

What did you do to help your teen driver become a safer driver.  Share your stories with us.  Comment below.

The 5 Most Common Auto Accident Claims

Auto insurance claims aren’t typically due to nasty weather, hectic rush-hour
accidents or the occasional wayward tree branch. In reality, there are five
different incidents that make up the majority of auto insurance claims and
unfortunately, many of them are based on common, everyday events.

Parking lot damage: That wayward cart in the parking lot of your favorite
supermarket? You might want to make sure it’s corralled before you do your
weekly shopping because damage that occurs in parking lots is a relatively
common cause for auto insurance claims. But it’s not just errant carts causing a ruckus; people who park too close and nick your car door with theirs are also
to blame. Park as far away from other cars as possible and you are likely to
avoid this type of damage.

Windshield Cracks: As you’re driving each day all manner of debris can come
pummeling toward your car windshield. Rocks hitting windshields and cracking or shattering them is quite common. While there is no real way to avoid this as you
drive, you can at least make sure your driveway is clear so there is one less place
for you to incur this kind of damage.

Vandalism: Vandals can come in all shapes and sizes. From little kids keying your
car on a dare to adults enjoying the creation of mayhem, the chance that your car
will get vandalized is high. Car alarms that trigger when someone gets too close
can help—but parking your car in an enclosed space, like a garage, is the ultimate

Rear-End Collisions: No matter how careful you are, if the person behind you is following too closely or is not paying attention to the road, then you could get hit
from behind. Or if you aren’t paying attention while you drive, it could be you that does the hitting. While this is one of the most common types of auto claim incidents,
it can be easily avoided if you maintain a safe distance from the cars in front
of you; make sure your brake lights are working, and pay attention to the road.

Theft: Whether you have one of those vehicles that is very attractive to thieves or
you have just a regular old car, there’s every possibility that it might be stolen by
professional thieves or kids looking for a joyride. To help avoid the likelihood that you will have an auto insurance claim due to the theft of a vehicle, be sure to always
lock your doors, park under streetlights when possible, and invest in an anti-theft
device like a car alarm or steering wheel clamp.

The next time you review your auto insurance policy, consider the types
of risk you and your automobile are exposed to each day and then, instead of buying
insurance because your state says you must, buy insurance that will actually protect
you from those risks. That is the only way to ensure that you have the coverage you
need and your family deserves. For more information on auto insurance go to the auto section of our website.

Schools Back! Check out these safety tips.

You probably have children back in school, returning to school or know someone who has children returning to the class room. Here are some safety tips and links.

• Obey school zones for the safety of our school children. Failure could result in a violation which would cost you a fine and points on your license. This could increase your auto insurance. Note: Not all school zones have flashing lights.

• Be careful of children walking to school. In many areas there are no sidewalks and the children walk on the side of the road.

• Be careful when driving near a school bus stop location. Children could be overflowing into the street or become a distraction. Drive slow.

• Be aware that many teens are driving to school. Be patient with them and understand they are new drivers.

• School Bus safety is critical. Some 25 million students nationwide begin and end their day with a school bus ride. Pennsylvania has some valuable safety tips. Go to their website to view these tips.

• Know your state’s School Bus stopping law. To view Pennsylvania’s Law go to their website.

At Spencer Insurance Agency we care about the safety of your children. Please pass this information on to your friends and family. At Spencer Insurance Agency “Your Protection and Peace of Mind is our Only Business!

Do I need a special ID card when traveling into Canada?


Canadian ID cards, also known as Non-Resident Inter-Province Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance Cards, are required for individuals using their cars to travel to Canada.  U.S. insurers file with Canadian authorities a Power of Attorney and Undertaking (PAU), in which the company agrees to certain conditions. One of these conditions is to meet the minimum third-party liability limits required in the province or territory where the accident took place (in most Canadian jurisdictions, the compulsory third-party liability limit is C$200,000; Nova Scotia is C$500,000). Companies which have filed a PAU can then order and issue a Canadian Non-resident Inter-provincial Motor Vehicle Liability Card (the “Canadian ID Card”) to their insureds for driving into Canada. This insurance card is used as evidence of insurance coverage if a traveler is stopped by enforcement officials or involved in an accident in Canada. Without it, the traveler may be fined for driving without adequate insurance. (Courtesy of IA&B)

If you are taking your car into Canada call our office to get your Canadian ID Card.



New PA Teen Driver Law became effective on December 24, 2011

Starting December 24, 2011 the new Pennsylvania Teen Driver Law (Act 81 of 2011) became law.  Are you familiar with the changes?  Here are the highlights:

  • The number of hours of supervised, behind the wheel skill building increased from 50 to 65. Ten of these hours must consist of nighttime driving and five of these hours must include driving in poor weather conditions.
  •  For the first six months after receiving their junior driver’s license, a driver is not permitted to have more than one passenger under age 18 who is not an immediate family member (brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister of the junior driver and adopted or foster children living in the same household as the junior driver) in their vehicle unless they are accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. If they have not been convicted of a driving violation or been partially or fully responsible for a reportable crash after six months, they may have up to three passengers under age 18 who are not immediate family members without a parent or legal guardian present. If they have any convictions or are partially or fully responsible for a reportable crash while a junior driver, they are once again restricted to one passenger. This restriction of only one passenger continues to age 18 for junior drivers who have crashes or violations.
  • Drivers and occupants in a vehicle who are under the age of 18 must wear a properly adjusted and fastened seat belt, and
    children under the age of eight must be securely fastened in a child restraint system. Failure to comply with the new law’s seat belt provisions is a primary offense, meaning that a driver can be pulled over and cited solely for that violation.

For more information on the law go to

Here is where Spencer Insurance Agency can help you .. .

  •  Ask us for a copy of the Spencer Insurance FREE Home Study “Teach Your Teen to Drive” course. This course will provide 16 lessons to help train your Teen Driver.
  • Check out our website  to be directed to our website designed for Parents of Teen Drivers.  Just click on the “Have a Teen Driver” icon.
  • Sign up for our monthly online newsletter exclusively for the Parents of Teen Drivers. Send an email to to start receiving these valuable newsletters.
  • Call our office at 215-885-2200 to review your auto policy to make sure you have the proper coverage now that you have a teen driver.

These changes were designed to help protect Teen Drivers. Make sure you take the time to properly train your teen drivers.  Let
us know what you think about our teen driver website, monthly online newsletter and other materials we provide.  Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Make your comments  below.

What have you done lately to help your teen become a safer driver?

Time is moving fast. One fourth of the year is nearly gone.  Hopefully, during the first quarter you took advantage of the abundant snowfall by taking your teen driver out for a lesson in driving in the snow.  There is no better way to get experience driving in the snow that with the supervision of a parent.  Make a point of doing this the next time it snows if you have not done so already.

Don’t stop training your teen drivers after they get their license.  Having a license does not make your teen driver an “Experienced Driver” or a “Safe Driver.” It is only with hours behind the wheel that your teen will become a more experienced driver.  Driver’s training is a continual process, not just a number of hours.

How can we help you?

Here are several tools Spencer Insurance Offers:

  • Distracted Driving Module – Click on the Distracted Driving icon on our website at
  • Complete a parent/teen contract. Go to and click on the resources tab.
  • Call us for your Free Copy of our “Safe Teen Driver Guide.”  This guide will provide 16 lessons to guide you in training your teen driver.  Some of the lessons include:
    • Parking
    • Merging and lane hints
    • Reading maps and navigation systems
    • What do you do if you have an accident

We have many other resources on our website designed specifically for parents of teen drivers.  Go to

We know parents have a huge responsibility when it comes to training teen drivers and Spencer Insurance wants to help you.  Take advantage of all the resources we provide for you.   Yes, price is important when it comes to insurance costs, but at Spencer Insurance “Your Protection and Peace of Mind” is our only business!