Car Crash Prevention Tips for Teens
Keeping Teen Drivers Safe
There is a reason that auto insurance companies consider teens a risky group of drivers to insure. Young drivers lack experience on the road. Some teens may not have matured enough to exercise good judgment. This isn’t just speculation. The U.S. Center for Disease Control, or CDC, says that car accidents are the #1 leading cause of death for teenagers in the United States.
In order to understand how to keep teenaged drivers safe, it’s helpful to consider the primary risks. Consider these CDC stats about teen auto fatalities:
- Drivers between 16 and 19 years old are three times more likely than drivers over 20 to be involved in a fatal vehicle accident.
- The risk of having an accident is highest during the first few months of obtaining a driver’s license.
- Young male drivers are twice as likely as their female peers to die in an accident.
- Driving with teen passengers greatly increases the risk of a fatal accident.
Also, teens love their smart phones and other mobile devices. However, distracted driving has become a much larger factor in serious accidents in recent years. The CDC’s report on distracted driving states that over 1,100 people are killed or injured every single day in the United States because of distracted driving.
The risk of driving under the influence and risky driving habits cannot be overstated. This is another problem that seems worse for teen boys than for teen girls. A quarter of male teens who were involved in fatal accidents in 2012 had been drinking. In addition, thirty-seven percent of teen boys involved in fatal accidents had been driving over the speed limit.
Tips to Help Prevent Teen Crashes
These statistics are very revealing. As parents, the job of keeping kids safe in the car doesn’t end when they first get their license and are able to drive without supervision. In fact, most parents will say that’s when the real headache starts. Even though teens may have earned a license to drive without supervision, we suggest making them understand that driving is a privilege and not a right. In a perfect world, all teenagers would remain aware that they are inexperienced drivers and use extra caution. However, this is a lesson that may have to get reinforced several times before it sinks in.
Emphasizing and enforcing these teen driving rules may help keep your own young son or daughter safer on the road:
- Drugs or alcohol and driving never mix.
- There should be no use of handheld electronics while operating a vehicle.
- Follow posted speed limits and use common sense when navigating through traffic or hazardous road conditions.
- The driver and all passengers always need to wear seatbelts.
- It might be a good idea to limit the number of young passengers for the first few months of unsupervised driving.
Liability Risks of Teen Driving
Besides the risk of suffering from injuries or property damage in a car accident, you could also risk liability claims if your teen driver does cause an accident. The standard and basic liability policies in this state may not be enough if you have substantial assets to protect. You might consider increasing your limits of liability for bodily injury and property damage as well as purchasing a personal umbrella policy.
Let Us Help You Find Affordable Teen Car Insurance
After making it through those initial drives with a teenage driver, waiting in line at the Motor Vehicle Commission, and finally having a child pass the test, the next major milestone can be finding affordable car insurance for young drivers. As independent agents, we are here to help you by shopping the market for the best rates and finding discounts that can help your family save money.