teen consequences Archives - Page 2 of 2 - Spencer Insurance Agency, Inc

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 http://www.dmv.state.pa.us/teenDriversCenter/newTeenDriversLaw.shtml.

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 info@spencerinsurance.com 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.

Free Online Home Study Driving Course Offered to Parents to Teach Their Teens to Drive Safely

Picking up the keysTragically car accidents continue to be the primary cause of teenager deaths.  In our area we had three accidents that caused the death of 6 teen drivers in two months. 

I have teamed up with  the Society of Family Insurance Specialists (SFIS) in striving to reduce that statistic by  providing parents a free online 16 step ‘Teach My Teen to Drive’ home study driving course.  This is a tool, available on our Parents of Teen Driver Website  that will allow parents to structure their time with their teen driving to gain as much knowledge and experience as possible in a variety of situations.  The SFIS is a national organization of insurance agents committed to reducing the number of teen driver related accidents and fatalities by providing tools to promote teen driver safety.

Although Pennsylvania only requires 50 hours, driving school experts recommend 100 hours of behind-the-wheel experience before a teen drives unsupervised. By following the step by step online ‘Teach My Teen to Drive’ course with practice exercises for each lesson, parents can not only teach their teens driving skills, but give them the much needed experience. Ret. Police Officer James Poer, who has investigated numerous teen driver accidents during his 30 years as an accident investigator says, “Teens are most likely to cause accidents because they just don’t have the practical experience that mature drivers have to avoid dangerous situations. This course gives parents tools that can help their teens gain this experience and learn the most important skills to safe driving”.

“We at Spencer Insurance are  proud to offer an easy and no-cost way for parents to give this education to their kids.”  “We know that driving schools are important but, they just can’t give new drivers adequate experience. By following our step by step program, parents can take control of and responsibility for their teens’ driver education.”

Members of the SFIS offer many tools including GPS teen driver monitoring systems, Parent/ Teen Driver Contract, 101 Safety Tips for Teen Drivers and much more.

The “Teach My Teen to Drive” online course is available through Charlie’s agency website at www.teendriverinsurance.com/spencer.  Or parents can contact them directly at 215-885-2200.

Let us help you by getting the most of the 50 hours or more you spend with your teen driver when they are learning how to drive.

You should be outraged!

In December there were three fatal accidents in our area taking the lives of six teen passengers.

 In 41 states there are Teen Driver Laws that limit the number of passengers that can be in a teen driver’s car.  Sadly, Pennsylvania is one of nine states without a law limiting the number of passengers in a car operated by a teen driver.  What additional motivation does the PA Legislature need to pass safer Teen Driver Laws?

It is time to call our State Representatives and Senators and tell them to pass safer Teen Driver Laws.

There are several laws pending to make Teen Driving safer.  Banning texting and limiting the number of passengers in a car driven by a Teen Driver are no brainers yet they continually get defeated when they come up for a vote.

As a parent my heart goes out to the parents of these teens.  A Johns Hopkins University study stated that the chances of a 16 year old dying in a car while a teen driver increased 39 percent with a single passenger, 86 percent with two passengers and 182 percent with three or more passengers.  In the December accidents that claimed lives of the six teen passengers two of the cars had six passengers and the other had three passengers.

Car accidents are the number one cause of death of teenagers.

As parents we are responsible for our children’s safety.  Even if the Pennsylvania legislature will not help us out we should enforce our own laws with our children. 

Number 1: No one is allowed in our vehicles unless they wear a seat belt (even back seat passengers)

Number 2: Outside of your household members, there should be no more than one other passenger in the car driven by your teen driver.

Number 3: No texting or using a cell phone while driving unless you are calling 911!  Parents, be aware that children learn by your example.  Practice what you preach.  Pull over to talk on the phone. At the very least use a hand held device.

Lastly, have your teen driver sign a contract that lists the consequences to any actions breaking your laws.

Visit our website at www.teendriverinsurance.com/spencer for a copy of a parent/teen contract and more tips on how to help your teen driver become a safer driver.  His or her life may depend on you!

AND, call your state rep and senator today and tell them to pass laws designed to help keep your teen driver safe.

Should you give your teen driver their own car?

teen-driver5Many factors will play into your decision, but you should be aware of a recent study.

 On September 25, 2009 MSNBC.com had an article titled “1 in 4 teens with own car has been in a crash.”

 The research was based on a nationally representative survey of more than 5500 teens in grades nine through 11.  More than 2000 teens reported driving on their own where they had their own car or were the main driver of the car they used.  The author found this an alarming statistic.

 Of these 2000 teens, 1 in 4 reported being in an accident versus 1 in 10 of those who did not have their own car.  The author stated that freedom can lead to a sense of entitlement about driving that makes them less cautious.

 What can you do as a parent to protect your teen?  The study found that parents need to be involved with their teens. The study states “Compared with teens whose parents were uninvolved, kids who said their parents set clear rules and monitored their whereabouts without being overly controlling had half as many crashes and much better driving habits.”

 Parents need to be proactive with their teen drivers.  Asking your teen to sign a driving contract helps.  Working on driving skills above the usual drivers training is important.

 Our agency has all these tools in a website designed for the parents of teen drivers.  Check it out at www.teendriverinsurance.com/spencer. You can print out a teen contract and consequences form to be used with your teen driver.  If you have any questions give our office a call.

 I wish you the best in staying vigilant with your teen driver’s driving habits.

Hold your Teens Accountable!

Picking up the keys 

I just got back from the polls and it was great to see a high voter turnout.  Today is Election Day and I know most of us are glad it is here. My mail will be a little lighter tomorrow and I won’t have as many voice mails to listen to when I get home.


Despite all the problems our country is facing today I still believe it is the best country in the world to live.  We can go to the polls without incident.  We hold our leaders accountable by voting them in or out of office.  It is a great process.


Parents can learn a lesson from today. Our country has many laws.  The police enforce these laws, sometimes to protect us from ourselves.  We don’t always make the right decisions.  Why should we expect any less from our children? 


When it comes to teaching your child to drive responsibly parents need to lay down the law.  Your children need to know that there will be consequences if they do not drive safely.


 Driving is a privilege not a right.  Parents can take that privilege away.

I suggest that every parent sit down and discuss the laws of driving with their children.  Some of these laws may be to obey traffic laws, not to text or talk on a cell phone while driving,  have no more than one passenger in their car at a time, use seat belts and not to drive if tired. 


Just as important parents must hold their child accountable if they break the law.  Your child needs to know the consequences of breaking the laws.  For example you may tell your child if they get a speeding ticket that not only will they have to pay the fine, but they will lose their driving privileges for 30 days.


Just as important as having this discussion with your child is the need to write it down.  I don’t know about you but with all that goes on in my life I sometimes forget things unless I write them down.  This should be no different.  Write down the rules and consequences on a piece of paper and have your child sign it.  Did you ever hear your child say “you never told me that”?  Now if they forget you can pull out the contract and show them what they signed.


Parents need to keep their side of the contract also.  If you encourage your children not to drive when they are tired you need to be prepared to pick them up without being angry and be happy that they called you.  If you tell your children not to text or talk on a cell phone while driving don’t do it yourself.  You are setting an example every time you drive with your child.  If you speed your child will speed.  I think you get the picture. 


Learn how to teach your children to be safe drivers.  Your car insurance agent should be able to help you in this area.  Call your agent for a copy of a driving contract and a list of consequences. 


Driving contracts and a list of consequences can be found at www.teendriverinsurance.com/spencer.


Check out my next blog when I discuss a GPS system to help you monitor your child’s driving.