DisclosureThe following is a sponsored post, presented in part by Nationwide Insurance agents in the Chicagoland region and the City of Chicago.

Finally. The moment you and your child have been waiting for! If you’re a parent and you have a teen, it’s inevitable that your child will start to drive at some point. Having a teen driver can be scary, but you can get through it. You can help your teen driver become a safe and responsible person on the road if you follow some important rules. Here are some ways you can ensure your teen driver is ready for the road.

Enroll in a driver’s education course
The first key thing to remember about having a teen driver is you must provide a solid driver’s education and enroll your teen in the local driver’s education classes a few months before the 16th birthday. Driver’s education classes give your child the information and skills necessary to be safe on the road. Some car insurance companies also give out discounts to drivers who have completed a driver’s education course.

Get some practice time
Next, give your teen some practice time with you right in the passenger seat. It can be scary sitting next to your team during driving practice, but it’s a necessity. Start out slow. Drive around a large parking lot to get comfortable before you take your teen out on regular roads. Then opt for deserted country roads to give your teen those important skills. Eventually, you will feel comfortable with your teen behind the wheel and you in the passenger seat.

Talk to your insurance agent
Another is central tip is to connect with your insurance agent or if you’re in northeastern Illinois, a Chicago insurance agency. Keep your agent up to date on the status of your teen driver. Ensuring a teen driver can be expensive, but your agent can help you navigate the process and get the lowest rate. Some teens can get discounts for good grades, responsible habits, and high tech driving help tools.

Opt for another vehicle
It’s also beneficial to the family if your teen drives a separate car. If your teen only drives your car when it’s available, this doesn’t give enough practice time to master the skill of driving. Instead, shop around for a low price late model used car that is equipped with all of the latest safety features. Your child will get more practice time and more confidence, and you will get the peace of mind that comes along with your teen in a safe vehicle.

Enforce limits and responsible habits
The most important thing that you can do as a parent of a teen driver is set limits and enforce them. Never accept teen drivers texting or talking on the phone behind the wheel. It’s also a good idea to prohibit your teen from having friends ride along in the car for those first few crucial months. Always talk about the importance of wearing seatbelts and driving defensively. And talk to your child about drinking and driving so you know your teen will make the best choice when confronted with this issue.

If you want your teen driver to be responsible and safe during those first few months on the road, it’s important to have a plan. These tips can help you and your child master the rules of the road without fear.

Jake Leonard is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. He is general manager of Heartland Internet Media Networks and an active contributor to four newspapers for Pana News Group. He also serves as chairman of Tri-Counties Libertarian Party and Capital Area Libertarian Party, deputy candidate recruitment director for the Libertarian Party of Illinois and as chairman/co-founder of the Libertarian Party Millennial Caucus.

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