Everett, WA — Car accidents are the leading cause of severe injuries and death among teenagers all across the U.S. Inexperience is the leading factor in these accidents. “New drivers just don’t know how to react to dangerous situations that, many times, they get themselves into.” says Ret. Master Police Officer James Poer who has investigated car accidents for 30 years. “Education and most importantly, experience, is critical to helping kids learn how to avoid dangerous situations and how to react when they encounter dangerous situations.”
Driving school experts recommend 100 hours of behind-the-wheel experience before a teen drives unsupervised. Washington State Law requires 30 hours of classroom instruction, a minimum of six hours of behind-the-wheel training and one hour of behind-the-wheel observation. With the high number of students in a class, schools simply cannot provide adequate experience. This places the responsibility on the parents. According to Washington State Law, parents must supervise a total of 50 hours of driving practice time, including 10 hours of nighttime driving. (http://www.dol.wa.gov/driverslicense/drivertraining.html)
One way to make the most of this time is to use a home study driving course. By following a structured lesson plan, parents can teach their teens the most important skills to driving safely and make the needed driving time most effective. The Society of Family Insurance Specialists (SFIS) has released a 16 step home study course, The Safe Teen Driver Guide, which helps parents know what to emphasize, and provides a lesson plan and practice exercises to help them accomplish this important goal. Local insurance agent and SFIS member Claudia McClain of McClain Insurance Services in Everett helped co-author this guide along with Officer Poer and a certified driving school instructor.
Since the day she had to counsel distraught friends after their son’s life-threatening car accident, Claudia McClain has been on a mission to help parents keep their teen drivers safe. In addition to The Safe Teen Driver Guide, her agency offers a variety of other tools including GPS teen driver monitoring systems, Parent/ Teen Driver Contracts, 101 Safety Tips for Teen Drivers and much more. “I get great response from The Safe Teen Driver Guide. It is one of the most popular tools among parents.” says McClain. “Almost every parent who has received it is grateful for having such a great manual to help them teach their teen to drive.”
This guide, valued at $59, is now available at no cost to Western Washington parents, simply by completing a brief on-line survey. The SFIS is interested in the concerns of parents of teen drivers and is conducting a marketing survey offering the guide and a chance to win a $500 college savings bond as a reward for completing the survey.
Parents can enter the drawing for the savings bond and get a copy of the Safe Teen Driver Guide by visiting McClain’s website at
Visit the website, e-mail Claudia@mcagent.org, or contact Claudia McClain directly at 425.379.9200 or 888.379.9200 for more information and tools that help make your teen a safer driver.