As an adult, you know that the number one incentive to drive well is a long and happy life without accidents or injuries due to irresponsible driving habits. But teenagers often lack this fundamental understanding until they’ve been driving for a few years and have seen the toll that accidents can take on their friends, or until they’ve had an accident of their own.
But teens do understand behavior suggestions that are incentivized with a reward system. As a parent, it’s up to you to give your teen a reason to drive safely while teaching them to want to do it for no other reward beyond safety, responsibility and low insurance premiums. Rewards can be monetarily based or result in more freedoms being awarded, depending on which type of incentive works best to motivate your teen. If you are out of ideas on how to incentivize good driving for your teen, here are some suggestions.
Give a reward for going a month without a ticket: Every month, your teen enters the world with hundreds of opportunities to get a ticket. From speeding to failing to fully stop at a stop sign to running a red light, the possibilities for tickets are almost endless. If you want to help your teen remember not to indulge in any behaviors that could lead to a ticket, offer them a reward for every month that they avoid getting one. In addition, you could throw in even more rewards when your teen studies their driving manual to remind them about everyday driving rules or watches a video that accomplishes the same thing.
‘How’s My Driving?’ reward: Have you seen those bumper stickers on the backs of corporate vehicles that ask other drivers to call and report bad driving? Well those stickers don’t have to be restricted to corporate-owned vehicles; you can have one custom-made for your teen’s vehicle. You can even design one yourself using a site like Zazzle or CafePress. You can then offer the teen a special reward every month that you get no phone calls reporting bad driving behavior. Be sure to monitor the sticker to make sure it remains on the car with the phone number visible.
Reward the use of texting apps: Texting while driving is dangerous, but many teens think that they are an exception to this risk and converse with their thumbs without regard to the fact that they are in traffic. Luckily, there are many apps that can be downloaded to a cell phone that send an auto response to text messages received while driving so your teen won’t feel compelled to read and respond at the next red light. If your teen agrees to use one of these apps, you can reward him or her with a cell phone upgrade or other motivating prize.
Track cell phone usage: Sometimes, the only way to have a true influence over your teen’s behavior is to aggressively pay attention to it and monitor it. Make note of the times and days that your teen is driving and, when you get your cell phone bill each month, compare the call times with the driving times to make sure that your teen isn’t talking on his or her cell phone while driving. With the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimating that 18 percent car accidents with fatalities were caused by cell phone use, it’s a pretty important behavior to monitor—whether you incentivize it or not. If you do, you can give your teen a reward for each month that you find no evidence of cell phone use while driving.
When you create a reward system based on good behaviors, you not only encourage your teen to behave properly behind the wheel, you do so in a way that encourages participation rather than rebellion. And when your goal is to keep your teen and all others on the road, safe, that’s a distinction that matters.
For more information about South Carolina auto insurance, give Triest Agency a call at 843-556-6232.