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by Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance

Teenager safety guide: How to avoid and deal with an accident

Teenager in the driver's seat of her car getting ready to drive

In Indiana, you must be 16 years and 90 days old and have successfully completed a state-approved driver's education program to receive your driver’s license. You also must have passed the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicle’s (BMV) driver’s test. (If you are at least 16 years and 270 days old, you do not need to complete a driver's ed program.) 

Getting behind the wheel as a young driver gives you a newfound freedom, but with that freedom comes great responsibility.  

For parents of a new driver, you may have mixed emotions about your child driving. Whether that feeling is pride or anxiety, it is important to make sure your new licensed driver understands the following essential tips before getting behind the wheel.  


Six essential things to know before getting behind the wheel 


These are just six of the essential tips for safe driving for teenagers or first-time drivers. Not only should young and new drivers make sure they are following these rules, but all drivers who get behind the wheel ought to remember these tips.  


  • Buckle up! - Growing up, you may have heard the phrase, “Click it, or ticket,” well that phrase has not gone out of style. Before putting your car in drive, make sure that you and everyone else in the car has their seatbelt securely fastened. It could save your life!  

  • Check your mirrors! - Not only should you buckle up, but you should always check your mirrors to ensure they are positioned to allow for the best visibility. Sometimes, if you share a vehicle with others, they may adjust the mirrors and you will need to re-adjust them before leaving.  

  • Make sure you have clear vision through your windows - Indiana is known for its ever-changing weather. One day there may be multiple inches of snow on the ground and the next day you could walk outside with a t-shirt on. Regardless, make sure you clear off your windows are clear of snow, frost, leaves, debris or heavy streaks before driving. Also, make sure your windshield wipers are working property and your washer fluid is full.  

  • For drivers over 21, never get behind the wheel when you are under the influence - There is no option to this tip. If you are over the age of 21 and have one too many drinks do not get behind the wheel and put yourself and others at risk. Instead, call an Uber or Lyft, or ask someone who has not been drinking for a ride. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides facts about how the U.S. drivers and passengers are impacted by impaired driving every day. They list effective measures that were created to help prevent accidents related to alcohol-impaired drivers.  

  • Look both ways and always check your blind spots - You have checked off all the boxes above and are finally on the road. While driving, make sure that when you switch lanes you always check your blind spot; this can help prevent accidents on the road. Also, when approaching two-way traffic, make sure to look both ways multiple times before pulling out to make sure it is clear for you to do so safely.  

  • Say no to distracted driving – Text messages, phone calls, quick snacks, screaming kids, loud music—these are just a few examples of the many ways you can become distracted while driving. Although life can get chaotic, when you decide to get behind the wheel it is your job to eliminate those distractions and focus on the road ahead. Read more about how you can prevent distracted driving.  


These six tips are not the only things you should consider before and while driving. Want more information? Visit the Indiana Department of Transportation to read numerous driving safety tips for all drivers.  


What to do after an accident? 


Before you get behind the wheel, make sure that you are insured if the unexpected happens. Don’t have an auto insurance policy? Get an auto insurance quote or find an agent near you that can point you in the right direction.  


Getting into an accident can be extremely traumatic. It is important to talk to your young drivers and let them know that these things can happen and let them know that they can always contact you if they need your help.  



If you are insured and the unexpected does happen, the first thing you need to do is take a deep breath. Then, you will want to do a few things to begin creating a claim for the accident. You will want to access your account online or log in to the Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance app to report your claim and one of our claims representatives with be ready to assist you. You can also call our call center at 1-800-723-3276.   


When you report your claim you should have this information available:  


  • Policy number  

  • Date, location and description of the accident 

  • Year, make and model of the vehicle(s) 

  • Names of everyone involved in the accident, including the witnesses 

  • Descriptions of injuries, if any  

  • Your home, work and cell phone numbers 

  • Responding police department and accident report information 


The claims process may seem intimidating, but our claims representatives are ready to be there for you when you need them most.  


Get Roadside Assistance at Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance  


Do you want to have additional peace of mind while your new driver is on the road? Purchase Roadside Assistance at Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance in case a minor incident happens while on the road. Roadside Assistance can help assist with:  


  • Towing  

  • Fuel delivery  

  • Jump starts 

  • Vehicle lockout 

  • Tire services  

  • Winching  


How the DriveTrend app can help you drive safe and smart?  


Want to receive an auto discount up to a 15%* with the new version of our DriveTrend app on your auto insurance premium?  If you answered yes, then you need to get the DriveTrend app. The DriveTrend app measures four driving factors while it tracks your drive. These driving factors are: 


  • Hard breaking  

  • Highway speeding  

  • Late night driving  

  • Local speeding  

  • Phone usage 


Based on your driving habits, you will receive a certain number of stars that shows how well you’re driving in these areas. In the Leaderboard section of the app you can see how your DriveTrend score stacks up against other app users in your household and see who the best driver in the house is! If you have more questions on how DriveTrend works, our FAQ page may have the answer.  


How to get DriveTrend App?  


If you do not have DriveTrend downloaded on your mobile device yet, it is time to get that installed! Simply go to the Apple app store or the Google Play store, download the app and start saving money and tracking your driving habits today!  


Show these safe driving tips for teenagers or first-time drivers to a child, grandchild or anyone else that is getting behind the wheel. Driving is a big responsibility, and it is important to stay safe while doing so!  


* Limitations and restrictions apply; the DriveTrend® discount, ranging from 10% to 15% based on your driving habits, applies to eligible policies issued or renewed on or after 9/1/2021.