For young drivers, there isn’t anything quite like the thrill of taking their first solo drive. However, for parents, this event often brings a feeling of anxiety rather than excitement. Having a new driver in the household not only elevates your stress levels but also leads to an increase in monthly expenses that come along with car insurance – an essential factor for your teen’s newly found freedom, whether they acknowledge it or not.
What the statistics show
- Statistics show that drivers aged 16-19 are four times more likely per mile driven to encounter a crash compared to drivers who are 20 years or older.
- Per mile driven, drivers aged 16-19 are three times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than their counterparts aged 20 and above.
- Critical errors cause 75% of teen crashes, with other prevalent factors being speeding, distractions, and lack of scanning.
- Motor vehicle accidents constitute the primary cause of death for American teenagers.
Teens drivers face higher insurance premiums
These facts can be unsettling for parents as they watch their teens assume control over the wheel. These statistics also significantly contribute to the steep cost of car insurance for teens and young drivers. Inexperience in driving and being prone to distractions make teenagers nearly three times more susceptible to fatal accidents than drivers who are 20 or older.
Insurance companies determine rates based on multiple factors like age, gender, and driving records, which aid them in assessing the risk associated with issuing a policy. Considering that historically teen drivers pose a heightened risk compared to those in their 20s, they generally face higher insurance rates.
Teenagers who are included in their parent’s policies usually benefit from lower car insurance rates compared to teenagers obtaining auto insurance independently.
The average cost for adding a teenager (aged 16-19) to a parent’s policy is $1,951 per year, with slightly higher rates applicable for 16 and 17-year-olds. Meanwhile, teenagers on their policies can expect an average rate of $6,598 per annum.
What coverage(s) to buy
Selecting car insurance for your teenager may seem daunting, but by focusing on a few key aspects, you’ll find the perfect fit.
1. State auto insurance prerequisites.
2. Loan provider stipulations if you have a car loan.
3. Potential asset loss in lawsuits should your teenager cause an accident.
Understanding State Requirements:
It’s essential to know that nearly every state demands drivers have liability insurance. Some states, like Florida, New Jersey, New York, and West Virginia, expect drivers to possess additional coverage such as uninsured motorist insurance.
After fulfilling state requirements, check your auto loan or lease agreement, if relevant. Most lenders need full coverage, which usually involves state-mandated insurance and collision and comprehensive car insurance. A 100/300/100 liability policy is widely suggested by experts.
How to keep your kids safe while driving
Demonstrate Responsible Behavior: Be mindful of the driving habits you display since teenagers tend to imitate their parents. Follow speed limits and road rules while avoiding distractions like mobile phones.
Spend Quality Time Coaching Your Teen Driver: Invest time in accompanying your teenager in the car, offering kind and constructive guidance.
Activate Phone Safety Settings: Using features like “do not disturb” on smartphones can significantly reduce distractions for both adult and young drivers. In fact, 83% of Gen Z drivers claim they would be deterred from using their phone while driving with this feature enabled.
Empower Your Teen to Speak Up: Help your teenager build confidence in voicing their concerns when they feel unsafe with distracted drivers – even as passengers!
By engaging in these practices and considering state and lender requirements while choosing car insurance for your teenager, you’ll ensure a safer and more enjoyable driving experience.
The bottom line about cell phones and driving
The inexperience of teenagers on the road leaves them more vulnerable to distractions while driving. Are you aware that one in every three teens who text admit to doing it while behind the wheel? Studies have shown that dialing a number while driving increases your teen’s odds of an accident by a factor of six, and texting boosts this risk by a staggering 23 times. Engaging in phone conversations or texting takes their attention away from the crucial task of driving, significantly diminishing their capacity to respond to unexpected hazards, occurrences, or harsh weather conditions.
Distracted driving extends beyond merely texting or chatting on the cell phone. Numerous teens use their time behind the wheel to eat breakfast, sip coffee, apply makeup, or fiddle with the radio. In many cases, adolescents get distracted by having extra passengers within the vehicle. Distractions of any kind can pose serious risks. Diverting one’s gaze from the road even for a mere five seconds has the potential to cause devastating consequences.
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