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So, your son or daughter just got their license. Seventeen and they are excited to hit the road… but you are out of your mind with worry. We have some Driving and Safety tips that won’t impede their newfound freedom while also easing your worries.

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Warn Them about the Dangers of Driving under the Influence

Before they get on the road, have an honest conversation about the dangers of drug and alcohol use. Specifically, DO NOT get in a car if the driver has used drugs or alcohol. Or if a friend has drugs or alcohol in their possession. Encourage your teen to call you if such a situation arises to ensure they have a safe way home.

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Create an Uber family profile

Create an Uber family profile and give yourself and your teen peace of mind. No matter what the driving conditions or in cases of an emergency, your teen doesn’t have to worry about surge pricing. With a family profile, there is one credit card connected to the account and the best part is that you receive notifications whenever an Uber is ordered and can track the car to and from a location.

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Put the Phone Away and eliminate distractions while driving

Put the phone away! Cellphone use was a factor in 13% of all fatal distraction-affected crashes reported in 2019. And teen drivers and young adults are at the greatest risk for distracted driving. According to NHTSA, among drivers involved in fatal crashes, drivers aged 15 to 19 were most likely to be distracted. Eight percent of drivers aged 15 to 19 were distracted at the time of the crash, compared with 6 percent of drivers between the ages of 20 and 29, the highest rates among age groups

Apple Car Play and Android Auto are useful features that can be found in most new car models. The technology allows for your phone to be out of sight while also giving you access to the most important features on your phone, all of which can be accessed with the functions on your steering wheel.  In fact, in a BMW, Apple Car Play automatically connects your phone without plugging in. That way you never have to take your phone out.

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Be a good role model

New drivers learn by example. So if you drive recklessly, your teenage driver may imitate you. Make sure to set a good example while driving with your teen in the car, especially while they’re still learning the rules of the road. Always wear your seatbelt, never text, and never drink and drive.

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Turn on Location Services

Make an agreement to turn on location services. Find my iPhone is available on all Apple devices and can track your location whenever your iPhone is on your person.  Also available through Apple are Air Tags. If your teen is uncomfortable with being tracked on their phone, keep an Air Tag in the glove box of their vehicle. 

Another program you can utilize is Life 360. The Life 360 app has additional features that can be helpful including SOS Help Alerts, 5-50 miles free towing, roadside assistance, emergency dispatch, driver reports, and place alerts.  You can even see how fast your teen is driving and at what percentage their phone is.

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Sign up for Defensive Driving Courses

Any auto insurance provider in New Jersey is required to offer a discount to any policyholder that completes a defensive driving course. The discount, which is usually between 5% and 10%, lasts for three years and can be renewed for continuous savings.

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Pick a Safe Car

You and your teenager should choose a car that is easy to drive and would offer protection in the event of a crash.

The 2022 IIHS safety ratings haven't been revealed at this time, but two popular models have been deemed the safest BMW cars in 2021: the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe and 3 Series sedans. Each of these vehicles was named a Top Safety Pick.

In addition to impressive car safety ratings, BMW vehicles boast an array of driver-assistive technologies and safety systems for your peace of mind. For example, Active Driving Assistant includes innovative features such as Frontal Collision Warning, Active Blind Spot Detection, Lane Departure Warning, and Speed Limit Info. You'll find that BMW makes some of the safest cars with a variety of protective systems and proactive technology including:

  • Automatic City Collision Mitigation
  • Park Distance Control
  • BMW Assist eCall™
  • Active Protection System
  • Fatigue and Focus Alert

If you are looking for a used vehicle for your new driver, Circle BMW has over 140 pre-owned vehicles consisting of popular makes and models, all passing our rigorous safety and reliability standards. Most are being sold at or below wholesale prices! You can view them here

Finally, keep in mind that teenagers mature differently—Parents should consider whether teens are easily distracted, nervous, or risk-takers and set boundaries based on these factors. NJ State law states that the provisional licensee should not be on the road between 11:01 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. and must be accompanied by an Adult Supervising Driver (at least 21 years old and licensed to drive for at least 3 years) in the front seat. Only one additional passenger is allowed. In addition to State laws, set house rules that your teen has to follow while possessing their provisional license. 

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