Obtaining a driver's license signals a new road to independence for teenagers. Parents often worry about their kids when they get behind the wheel of a car. What about a motorcycle? Many teens also want to hop on a bike and take off. While you may be concerned, there are steps you can take to best prepare your child to get their motorcycle license.
Before anyone can become a licensed driver, they usually must practice with a permit. Requirements vary from state to state, but the consensus is that applicants must at least be between 14 to 17 years old and able to pass the specified tests. The main tests include a DDS knowledge exam, a road skills test, and a vision exam. Your state may also require you to sign on your child’s behalf.
While you may not always need a permit, there are some advantages to having one. For example, holding a learning permit gives your teenager the time they need to master the skills of driving a motorcycle. Always check with your state's DMV before letting your teen hop on a bike.
Training and Safety Courses
Before your teen gets on a motorcycle, it's a great idea to enroll them in a training and safety class. It's critical that they learn everything they can before embarking on their journey. Courses vary from location to location, but they typically teach the same material. Students will have classes in things such as shifting gears, navigating, and braking while enrolled in their course. Motorcycle accidents are prevalent, so always practice defensive maneuvers. With roughly 88,000 motorcycle accidents in the U.S. in 2015, it's pretty clear that riding a motorcycle can be incredibly dangerous, something that can be at least somewhat mitigated by taking training and safety courses.
Obtaining a License
Once your teenager has spent the necessary time to learn the basics of driving a motorcycle, it's time to get that license. The typical requirements are about the same as getting a permit; they'll have to be able to pass the necessary tests to prove they're competent at driving. The applicant will also have to pay a fee for their license to be valid. Once approved, their license will show "M" class, proving that they're a registered motorcycle driver.
While your teenager is learning, stress the importance of being patient. As you know, your teen always needs to be cognizant of what's happening around them. You're a great parent to help your child get that license they want so badly, so enjoy the ride.
Did your teen pass their driving test? We recommend reading this article before investing in a new or used vehicle.
If you're buying a car for your teen, safety is probably your highest priority. After all, teenagers aren't exactly known for their driving prowess. However, other considerations, such as your budget and the vehicle's reliability, are important too. Before you turn over a set of car keys to your family's newest driver, take the following considerations into account.
It's Probably Going to Break
Like it or not, the car you buy for your teen is probably going to break. If you're like many parents and buy your teen a low-cost car with a lot of miles on it, it'll simply be more likely to break down due to age. Furthermore, teenagers are usually harder on cars than more experienced drivers. They tend to brake harder, accelerate more quickly and disregard necessary maintenance tasks. Teaching your teen how to maintain their car will help extend the vehicle's life, but you should expect breakdowns and plan accordingly. There are some cars that are safer for teens, but you should still encourage safe driving.
Consider the Upfront Expenses
Knowing the upfront expenses of buying a car for your teenager will help you budget and prepare financially. First, decide whether to pay for the car upfront or to take out a loan. Then, consider having your teen pay for part of the cost of the vehicle. Not only will this take a little financial strain off you, but it'll build a sense of responsibility in your child. Finally, don't forget to budget for car insurance. Adding a teen driver to your insurance is likely to increase your premiums considerably.
Find the Right Car
The car you want for your teen is probably different than the one you want for yourself. To encourage safe driving, look for cars that don't emphasize horsepower, and keep in mind that larger cars are typically safer than compacts. Newer cars generally come with more safety features than older models, but they also come with heftier price tags.
Handing over the car keys to a new driver is a big deal regardless of how prepared you feel or how responsible your teenager is. Adequately preparing yourself and your child for this milestone will give your entire family peace of mind. Know that the car you choose is likely to break down, establish a budget, and take your time finding the right vehicle for your new driver.
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