Tuesday, May 27, 2008

News Alert! Free Installation of GPS Teen Driver Monitoring System


I just received some exciting news from one of our insurance companies, Safeco. This company has been on the leading edge of teen driver safety and working to reduce the number of accidents involving teen drivers.

Last summer, they launched a new system called Teensurance to help their customers keep their kids safe. This is a GPS based system that is installed in the teen's car and alerts parents of dangerous behaviors such as speeding, driving beyond an allowed territory and breaking curfew.

Well, Safeco just announced that they are now offering this system to any parent that wants to get this system installed in their kid's vehicle. They will pay for the installation and the unit if the parent agrees to a 2 year contract. Similar systems can cost as much as $800.

There is a $14.99 per month monitoring fee which gives the parent website access to create and adjust the parameters for the alerts, view the location of the vehicle and it will even allow you to un-lock the car doors in case your teen gets locked out.

Along with the GPS system comes roadside assistance and other teen driver safety tools.
If you would like more information, visit my website www.teendriverinsurance.com/paramount or call my office at 869-3335.


PS Safeco is offering a 15% discount for anyone that is a Safeco customer or that becomes a customer. This 15% discount, in most cases, will pay for the monitoring fee just from the savings on their insurance. Call my office to become a Safeco customer and take advantage of this big discount. Considering the high rates for teen drivers, this could really be significant.

Monday, May 26, 2008

5 Most Common Mistakes Teen Drivers Make

This is an article my friend, Officer Jim Poer wrote on teen driver safety. I thought you should read it…

The hardest part of my job is having to knock on a parent's door to deliver the worst news they could ever get. After 30 years of investigating accidents, this is the part of my job I wish I never had to do. That is why I am committed to helping you make your teen a safer driver.

This month, I want to share with you the 5 most common mistakes that lead to teen driver accidents and fatalities.

Mistake #1- Speeding. There is a multiplier effect when it comes to speed. The faster you go, the amount of time required to stop is multiplied and at higher speeds, the time required to stop is greatly increased.

Kids don't understand this, the physics side of driving that is. They assume they can stop when they want and unfortunately they don't get this knowledge from their driver's education class.

Speed also leads to other common mistakes such as the second most common mistake.

Mistake #2- Over-Correcting. When a teen driver gets into a situation where they need to correct the direction of the vehicle, they often times, over-correct causing loss of control. When you add speed to this effect, the reaction is almost always an over correction that can't be brought back under control.

Mistake #3- Distractions. This is the subject of my latest blog and you can read more on this at http://www.parentalcourage.com/ The problem these days is that kids have way too many things in their cars to distract them. Cell phones, mp-3 players, and text messaging, to name a few. But the biggest distraction is usually other kids in the car.

Mistake #4- Following too close. Just as I described in Mistake #1, when a vehicle is following too close at a high rate of speed, the ability to avoid a collision is reduced to almost nothing if that vehicle's driver decides to suddenly stop.

Mistake #5- Failure to Yield. Many accidents occur when a teen driver fails to yield to another driver when the other driver legally has the right of way. Failing to check for other vehicles in the blind spot, or not accurately estimating the closing rate of another vehicle are also very common problems.

Master Police Officer III James Poer

Officer Poer is a 30 year veteran accident investigator with the High Point Police Department. He is also a parent of 4 drivers. His experience, conviction, and advice is demonstrated on his website- www.parentalcourage.com. Please visit his site often and remain vigilant on your teen driver’s safety!

In my next posting, I will share with you what Officer Poer says on How to Prevent Your Teen From Making These Mistakes!

You can also learn more at my website

Wishing you and your family the best in health, happiness and prosperity!


Friday, May 23, 2008

Tom's Clients and Teensurance Featured on ABC World News

Last week, ABC contacted me to help them find a family that has used the GPS tracking system for teen drivers called Teensurance that we offer. I called my long-time clients, Jack and Dana Hamilton and they quickly agreed to help.

They have become huge fans of the system and want to help any way they to spread the word about this valuable tool for keeping kids safe.

Well, on Monday, ABC sent over a production team to the Hamilton's house in High Point. What a production! After four and half hours, they had enough footage for the one minute and 45 second spot.

It was exciting to see the story on national television during the Tuesday night broadcast at 6:30pm .

If you would like to see their story and learn more about Teensurance click here: http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/GadgetGuide/story?id=4894768&page=1

If you would like to find out more and have this system installed for your teen driver, call my office at 336-869-3335 or visit my website at www.teendriverinsurance.com/paramount.

PS I know how you can get this system installed for FREE. Just get in touch with my office or visit my website and I'll show you how!

Put Your Teen Through the Paces Before Going Out On Their Own!

The drivers education in-car training provided by our public school systems is really only a starting point for teaching your teen to drive safely. I recommend no less than 100 hours driving time for your child with the parent in the passenger seat before you let them out on their own.

One of the things that you should do when teaching your child how to drive is teach them how to deal with stressful and dangerous situations while you are there to talk them through it. For example, I advise that you take them to an abandoned, low traffic road and with them observing in the passenger seat, you drive car the off the road and talk them through the process of getting the car back on the road in a safe manner.

Too often, young drivers faced with this situation will overcorrect and jerk the wheel to forcefully. This can lead to them losing control of the vehicle. Let them gain experience with this type of emergency maneuver while you are teaching and talking them through it. When you feel that they are ready, have them drive off the road and bring the car safely back on to the road.

Another great learning experience is 5:00 traffic. They are going to have to drive in it eventually; don’t you want to make sure that you have taught them how before they tackle it on their own? Make it a point, when you think they are ready, to have them drive in stressful traffic situations, including traffic to and from ball games and concerts. If they have done this with you in the passenger seat, then when they are doing with a distracting friend in the seat beside them, they stand a much better chance of handling this safely.

Try to think of any other situations that might require your help and seek those out while you are still training them. We have a complete soup to nuts Teen Driver Training guide available to all of our insurance clients. This 47 page book will walk you through the process of teaching your child safe driving habits from vehicle maintenance to traffic lights, to highway safety and even includes a chapter on map reading. If you want to know more about this guide you can contact us by visiting our web site at www.TeenDriverInsurance.com/paramount.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Set a Good Example!

When most teenagers reach about 14 years of age, they begin to think about driving. Obviously some children dream about this more than others but what is important to you as a parent, is how they might imagine themselves as a driver.

Where do they get their persona as a driver? Where do they learn habits?

The answer is, they learn a lot from watching you drive. They will pick up your good and your bad habits and that is why as a parent, you must really monitor your own driving while your young teens are in the car. You should begin to model good driving behavior and even talk about that behavior with your children.

Here is a short list of the Don’ts:

While your young teens are in the car, don’t:
· Eat and drive. Make sure that they see you giving your full attention to your driving.
· Talk on your phone while driving. I know this one is hard to break but when your child tries this while driving it is the equivalent of having them drink a few stiff ones and then try driving. It is also illegal in NC for a teen driver to use the phone while driving.
· Run the yellow light. Teach your teens not to gamble with yellow lights. Their judgment is not as well developed as yours and this behavior can end in tragedy.
· Follow too closely. This is something you shouldn’t do at any time but when your child is in the car they will get a sense for what is the correct following distance. Show them by leaving enough space between you and the car in front of you.
· Drive aggressively. Again, they will model what you do. Teach them to be a courteous and respectful driver. It might make you late a few times but what is that to saving their life.
· Speed. Your children should respect the speed limit. This will save them money in tickets and attorney’s fees, but it will probably also save their life. 33% of teen driver fatalities are due to excessive speed.

Ok, enough with the negatives. Here are a few things you should do when your teens ride with you:
· Always use your seatbelt. And always insist that all passengers wear theirs as well.
· Use turn signals and practice “accurate” driving. Talk to your teens about this.
· Keep your car maintained and the windshield clean. Also check for tire wear and tire pressure as well.
· Come to a complete stop at all stop signs
· Slow down in bad weather. Tell your teens that you are driving a bit slower and leaving more distance from the car in front today because the bad weather makes the driving that much more dangerous.

These are just a few tips that you can use. I’m sure you can think of even more to help your child become a safer driver so that you can get through this time in your life without a tragedy.

For more help on teen driving safety, please visit my web site at www.TeenDriverInsurance.com/paramount.