At Whitford Insurance Network, your family is our family. We value the trust you’ve placed in our agency, and want to help clients make the most informed decisions they can. This point is especially relevant now, during Teen Driving Safety Week. The Insurance Information Institute provided the following statistics, “Drivers age 16 to 20 accounted for 5.5 percent of all licensed drivers, 8.5 percent of all drivers involved in fatal crashes and 12.0 percent of drivers in all crashes in 2014. Seventeen percent of drivers age 16 to 20 who were involved in fatal crashes in 2014 were alcohol-impaired. The DOT found that more teenagers are involved in motor vehicle crashes late in the day and at night than at other times of the day. Teens also have a greater chance of getting involved in an accident if other teens are present in the vehicle, according to research from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and State Farm.”
Fortunately, there are several steps parents and caregivers can take to help reduce the risk of their teen getting involved in an accident.
- Pick a safe car. Avoid overly large, or extremely small vehicles for young drivers, as well as any high performance model that might encourage speeding. Trucks and SUVs should also be avoided, as they are more prone to rolling over.
- Understand your state’s teenage driving laws. Especially rules that restrict the number of passengers allowed with a young driver.
- Have your teen take a certified driver’s education course, and enroll them in a safe driver classroom program. Not only does this allow you to collect a discount on your auto insurance, it also teaches them the skills they’ll need in the event of an unexpected incident.
- Talk to your teen about the dangers of driving impaired. This isn’t just alcohol! Lack of sleep, distractions and even over the counter medicines can all cause driver’s to become less able to react in the event of an accident. Your child should know there is always a safe alternative to getting into the car with an impaired driver, and you should talk to them about ways they can make excuses to avoid getting in the car with one. Uber is a great tool, and can be linked to your finances to prevent any surprise usage.
- Be a good role model! New drivers learn by example. Make sure your phone is away and you observe the posted driving regulations.
Check out these great resources from our friends at Travelers! A Teen Driving Coaching Guide for parents and this Drivers Ed Quiz!