Getting ready to add a teen driver to your policy? Drivers with less experience tend to be more comfortable taking their eyes off the road. Accordingly, it’s important to discuss the danger of distracted driving with your teens and how to avoid it. While performing secondary tasks and distracted driving can be dangerous for all drivers, adults are likely to do so. This is one of the reasons that car crashes are the leading cause of death among children 16 to 18 years old. The National Institute of Child and Human Development finds that the first 1,000, or about six months, of driving are extremely dangerous. After that point, crash rates tend to decline has drivers gain more experience on the road. However, crash rates don’t drop to adult levels until drivers have about 10,000 of experience under their belts. It can take drivers around five to six years to reach this level of driving experience.
Youthful drivers have a lot more than just inexperience working against them. There is a major neurological difference between adult and teenage drivers. The human frontal lobe is not fully developed until sometime in our early twenties. Because of this, teens are less likely to be able to make rational decisions, especially in emotional situations. Having passengers only makes this problem worse for some teenage drivers, as they can cause even more distractions. Driving with three teen passengers increases the risk of a crash by three to four times, versus your teen driving alone.
Road Safety Education: Start ‘Em Young!
Road safety education should start as soon as your child is old enough to sit in the front seat. Hearing you explain your actions from a young age can help your child to pick up many useful tips long before it’s time for driver’s ed! You are your child’s first and primary example as a driver, so keep in mind that they are observing all your habits, both good and bad.
Studies show that teens with more involved parents tend to drive more safely and have fewer crashes. Boundaries like a curfew or a restriction on the number of passengers can help, but only in they are enforced! You can also take further action and install a driving behavior feedback device that records data during certain driving events. Then, you can view and discuss things that happened, like swerving or sudden breaking, and how to avoid those situations. Also, make sure your teen driver knows how to handle a roadside emergency by reviewing our 10 Smart Steps!
Your young driver’s good grades can also save you some $$$ on car insurance! Ask us about all of our available discounts for young drivers like:
- Good student – your teen’s good grades can save you money!
- Distant student – if your teen driver goes to school 100 miles or more from home, this discount can help you save!
- Multi-car – adding your teen driver’s car to your policy can earn you this discount.
- Driver training – gain experience behind the wheel with a state-approved driving course and your teen can also qualify for another discount!