The world of new teen drivers today is painted by more distractions than ever. Teens that have grown up with smartphones in their hands are more likely to use them behind the wheel. As a result, motor crashes are the leading cause of death among teens, as seen in the Centers for Disease Control’s Teen Driver Fact Sheet.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that teen drivers aged 16 to 19 are three times more likely to be in a fatal crash than drivers aged 20 and older. Due to inexperience, teens are less likely to make proper driving decisions. Merging and other traffic maneuvers represent challenges to the young driver, as well as inclement weather. Not knowing how the car will react in rain, snow, and ice results in poor decision making.
Teens are also more likely to behave recklessly while driving, and not respect the rules of the road. Teens have higher instances of speeding, tailgating, texting, not wearing seatbelts, and other rash behavior – all contribute to collisions and even fatal ones.
That’s the sobering bad news. Here are some tips to turn that bad news into good.
- Make sure that you’re regularly practicing driving with your teen. Every time that you run out to the door to run an errand, ask your teen to come along to get some extra practice.
- You should reinforce safety procedures at all times to your teen, as well as the serious consequences of driving infractions and accidents, and how those can increase the cost of insurance as well.
- When it’s time for your teen’s first car, research the safety history of the vehicles that you’re considering. Check out an earlier GEBCO blog post to begin your path to determining which type of car is the safest and most reliable for your teen. There’s some good news here: Safer vehicles mean lower insurance rates.
Add a teen driver to your auto policy or purchase a standalone policy?
For many teen drivers, the only way they will be able to afford car insurance is to be added to their parent’s policy. Depending on where you live, it could cost $4,000 to $5,000 per year for a standalone policy for a teenager. Needless, that’s not affordable.
Adding your teen to your policy will more than likely be cheaper, but certainly not cheap. Check with your insurance agent to compare your options.
There are a few things that you can do to reduce your insurance premium. Check out this article from the Insurance Information Institute and discuss with your insurance agent. Just be careful not to leave yourself underinsured.