By: Carol Beck-Round | Category: Professional Services | Issue: September 2015
RCI Insurance Group Personal Lines Manager Amber Helmuth wants to assist parents and teens with a free insurance review and a free “Road Ahead Guide” packet containing a Parent-Teen Contract, along with other informative articles, to help parents prepare their teen before he or she gets behind the wheel of a vehicle.
A major milestone in the life of a family is when their teen becomes eligible to get his or her driver’s license. While teenagers are excited about the prospect, parents are concerned about their safety, and rightly so.
According to DMV statistics, the traffic accident rates for 16- to 19-year old drivers are higher than those for any other age group. The risk increases when a teen driver transports passengers – the fatality risk of drivers aged 16 to 17 years is 3.6 times higher when they are driving with passengers than when they are driving alone, and the relative risk of a fatal crash increases as the number of passengers increases.
“It’s not if the teen gets in an accident, but when,” says Amber Helmuth, RCI Insurance personal lines manager. “Parents need to make sure their teen is prepared before he or she gets behind the wheel.”
RCI Insurance wants to assist parents and teens with this life milestone by offering a free insurance review and a free “Road Ahead Guide” packet containing a Parent-Teen Contract; a driving guidelines chart; helpful tips for safe driving in different weather conditions; a list of things to do if their vehicle breaks down or runs out of gas; how to deal with the effects of peer pressure; and what to do if you’re in an accident, which includes not only the steps to take but removable cards to keep in the vehicle or the teen’s wallet to gather and record all accident information for both vehicles involved.
“The Parent-Teen Contract alone is valuable,” says Helmuth. “It’s much better than coming up with something in the heat of the moment. Knowing what is expected of your teen driver makes it much easier with the follow-through.”
While the contract is not required for insurance, more and more agencies are encouraging parents to adopt it. “It sets up success between parent and the teen driver by establishing expectations,” says Ernie Osborn, RCI business development administrator. “Whether they create an incentive program or a discipline plan, the parent and teen are entering into a contract in writing.”
The contract includes 11 agreed-upon driving conditions for the teen, including curfews, the wearing of seat belts, obeying all traffic laws, not talking on the phone or texting while behind the wheel, the number of friends allowed in the vehicle, not exceeding the speed limit, not driving more than an agreed upon distance from home without permission, letting parents know of plan changes, and not riding in a vehicle of a driver who has been drinking or using illicit drugs.
Parents also agree to four responsibilities involving open communication, respect, being a responsible role model and picking up their teen that is in an unsafe situation.
The Road Ahead Guide is free to anyone who stops by the RCI Insurance office.
After 30 years in public school education, Carol Round retired and moved from Grand Lake to Claremore, Oklahoma in 2005, where she writes a weekly faith-based column which runs in 14 Oklahoma newspapers as well as several national and international publications. Three volumes of her columns have been compiled into collections: A Matter of Faith, Faith Matters and by FAITH alone. She has also written Journaling with Jesus: How to Draw Closer to God and a companion workbook, The 40-Day Challenge. This past year she has written three children’s books, a series called Nana’s 3 Jars, to teach children about the value of giving, saving and spending money. All of Carol’s books are available through Amazon. In addition to writing her weekly column, authoring books and speaking to women’s groups, she writes for Value News. She also blogs regularly at www.carolaround.com. When she is not writing or speaking, she loves spending time with her three grandchildren, working in her flowerbeds, shooting photos, volunteering at her church or going on mission trips overseas, and hiking. She is also an avid reader and loves working crosswords and trying to solve Sudoku puzzles.
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