USA Today recently ran a story which I’m sure has parents of teenage drivers jumping for joy.
According to the article, today’s technology is making it easier for parents to monitor many aspects of their child’s driving.
Want to limit the top speed of the car? There’s a program for that.
Want to set geographic boundaries? Yep, that’s available in some cars.
How about blocking all cellphone functions while the car is in motion? Parents can also control that.
Teens might not be thrilled, but I’m sure parents like knowing they have some say at the wheel.
Of course safety is first when it comes to our kids and driving.
However, it can’t hurt to educate them about the expense of hitting the road.
Here are three tips for teaching teens the cost of having a car.
1. Fill ‘er up. Gas prices have been on the rise this summer. Some of you might recall the summer of 2008 when gas prices hit record highs. At the time, The New York Times ran a story talking about the pressure teens face when prices rise, forcing many to carpool or stop driving altogether. Many teens are responsible for coming up with their own gas money. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. However, help them understand how many gallons their car takes and how many miles can be driven before a gallon is gone. If they know that basic information as well as how much gas costs, it might make the cost of driving that car a reality.
2. Why the change in prices? We’ll often hear of disruption in oil production or problems in the Middle East. And yes, those issues can certainly affect gas prices. Still, when talking to kids about the ups and downs in prices, simply focus on supply and demand. The summer is a perfect example. More people hit the road during the summer, which means there is more demand for gas. That demand coupled with not as much supply could lead to higher prices. The same idea holds true for something your teen can relate to, such as concert tickets. Lots of people want to go to the concert, but there is a limited supply of tickets. If someone wants to go badly enough, chances are he or she will pay more for the ticket, helping push prices up.
3. You’ll need insurance. Parents, this one’s for you as much as for your teen. AAA says that once your teen is a licensed driver you’ll want to consider adding him or her to an existing auto insurance policy. The insurance rate is often higher than others since teens are more at risk for an accident during their first year of driving. However, there is one tactic to help keep the rate down and encourage your child to get good grades in school. AAA says some insurers offer discounts to students with a “B” or higher average. Therefore, encourage them to hit those books before hitting the road.
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