It’s a scary world out there – especially when your teen start driving for the first time. As you both learn how to navigate these changes, you will quickly learn that the rules and risks of teen driving are very different than those for older, more experienced drivers, and so is car insurance for teens. Today, we list some facts about teen driving and all that comes with it in a post we call The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.
The implementation of graduated drivers licenses here in Kansas help make teenagers safer on the road. In the past, teens were allowed to drive without restriction, enjoying the same privileges as more mature drivers. Today, Kansas has a graduated driver’s license program that includes restrictions based on age and experience.
For example, a 16-year old student cannot drive after 9 p.m. unless it is for the purpose of commuting to or from school, work or religious services. The same teenager is also limited to one non-sibling passenger under age 18. A 16-year old licensed driver must also have held an instructional permit for at least one year and completed a minimum of 50 hours of driving instruction. Since the rates of teen crashes and fatalities have been linked to inexperience, time of day, and distractions from other passengers, these restrictions are a big step toward saving lives. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that GDL laws have lowered teen crash fatalities by as much as 40 percent among 16-year olds.
Car insurance for teens can be frustrating and hard to understand without the assistance of a trusted agent. Teens who get a policy on their own may find that their higher risk combined with a lack of credit history make them more expensive to insure than other drivers. Fortunately, there are options to help alleviate this expense.
In most cases, teens can save big on car insurance by getting coverage through a parent’s policy. The discounts the parent has worked hard to earn get passed on to the teen. Not to mention, teens who keep good grades in school may qualify for a special good student discount of up to 15 percent depending on the insurer.
The teen driving data is not pretty. According to the Centers for Disease Control, teen drivers ages 16-19 are nearly three times more likely to be killed in a car accident than drivers age 20 or older. In 2014 alone, nearly a quarter-million U.S. teens were treated for injuries sustained in car accidents.
- Six teenagers are killed each day in car accidents
- Alcohol plays a role in 17 percent of fatal teen crashes
- In 2012, 71 percent of teen drivers killed in car accidents weren’t wearing a seatbelt
- More than half of teen crash fatalities occur on the weekend
- Approximately 3 in 4 teen crashes are caused by a distracted driver or critical errors caused by inexperience
These are statistics that need to change. Education and parental involvement are the number one ways in which teen driving behaviors will improve over time. Parents should enforce the restrictions of graduated license programs and create a parent-teen driving agreement that outlines the rules and expectations for driving. Teens who sign a contract to practice safe driving habits may be less likely to engage in risky behaviors.