When it comes to teen drivers, safety is a big priority!
As they spend their first hours on the road, teen drivers safety affects everyone. Teen drivers are more likely than anyone else to be in an accident, even elders over 85. Drivers between the ages of 15 and 20 are at the greatest risk of a fatal crash. Parents have a big role to play in helping them stay safe.
Let’s face it: Most teens aren’t going on to Cheap Insurance to get more information about their car insurance policy. But adults they trust can give them the reminders they need until defensive driving habits become second nature. Giving your favorite teen a nudge – even nagging a little – can make a difference.
It could turn out to be essential to teen drivers safety!
Facts About Teen Driving
Are teen drivers really dangerous on the road? What are the facts about teen driving?
If you have ever put a teen driver on your insurance, you know it is no joke. It costs more than $600 on average to add a teen driver to the family car insurance policy. When they take out a policy on their own, the average annual rate is more than $2,200.
As with any skill, driving gets easier with experience. Drivers aged 16 have the highest crash rates on the road, and the odds of a serious incident increase with every passenger until the driver is 18.
Despite the risks, daytime driving is much safer for teens than night driving. The hours from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. are the most perilous for teen drivers. Teens with involved parents are much more likely than others to wear a seat belt, even when there is no responsible adult around to remind them.
Teen driver safety and speeding is a serious problem, with crash risks going up for every mile driven over the speed limit. Since about 20% of 16-year old drivers will have at least one accident before they reach 17, supervised driving is a critical part of making sure that they develop the right skills early.
Alcohol and Teen Driving
In 2018, about 15% of teen drivers lost to fatal crashes had consumed alcohol beforehand.
For everyone’s safety, it’s vital for teens to remember they can be over the legal Blood Alcohol Content limit with just one beer. A person’s weight and many other factors can influence precisely when they become legally intoxicated, but it is almost always long before feeling “high” or “buzzed.”
Luckily, teen drinking and driving is much less common than it was a few decades ago.
In fact, 91% fewer teens drink and drive now than back in 1991.
To avoid a dangerous situation on the road, it is important for teens to respond effectively to peer pressure to drink. If a teen is going to an approved party, designated drivers should be available to help everyone stay safe.
Remember, designated drivers who are also teens are probably limited in how many passengers they are legally allowed to transport, especially at night. A safe party is one in which responsible elders can supervise and make sure everybody gets home safely. Rideshare services can be hazardous after a party.
The best solution to alcohol and teen driving is for a teen to abstain from drinking completely. But if a teen legally and safely drinks, he or she should never get behind the wheel. Talk to your teen about the seriousness of alcohol to help them make informed, healthy decisions about their future.
Distracted Driving Among Teens
In 2014, more than half of teens said that they talk on the phone while driving.
Not only does this double the odds of an accident, it reduces reaction times to those of a 70-year old.
Thanks to a huge nationwide public safety campaign, distracted driving among teens is much less common. Many states have instituted rules allowing drivers to be ticketed for distracted driving. Smartphones are also equipped to know when they are in a moving car and disable several distracting features.
Since many teens will use a GPS app for navigation, taking the phone away completely could actually make things less safe. A phone also enables them to call for help, such as roadside towing, in the event they need it.
Instead of expecting teens to lock phones away while driving, make sure that they are only used in hands-free mode. It is crucial to refuse calls and refrain from checking texts while driving. Both of these activities cause distraction equivalent to having a passenger in the car, unlike using a hands-free GPS.
Driving Education for Teen Drivers
One of the biggest safety improvements for teen drivers on the road in recent years was the development of the graduated licensing program. In states with a graduated license program, there are more steps to learning how to drive besides a learner’s permit and a full, unrestricted license. Learning often starts earlier, too.
For example, teen drivers in Alabama can enter the learner’s stage as early as 15 years of age, and it must last a minimum of six months. They must finish 50 hours of supervised night driving and approved driver education classes before reaching the intermediate stage, where they may begin to drive with one passenger.
A full license is still granted the traditional way, with a combination written test and road test.
If you are concerned about teen driver road skills, be sure you know what local driving classes are available in your area. High school driving classes often take place for a few days a week once a year. To improve teen driving skills, you can look for an approved defensive driving class for teens. Also, read some insurance tips for teens for keeping our teens safe.
This may save you money with a teen on your insurance, and will ultimately help your teen out, too.
Most Important Teen Drivers Safety Tips
1. Always Buckle Up
The seat belt is the car’s most valuable safety feature. An airbag is a good addition, but it provides nowhere near the same protection as the seat belt! Always buckle up and ensure a secure fit before any driving journey and also know the car seat safety guidelines and recommendations.
2. Obey Speed Limits
Speed is a factor in more than a third of crashes involving teen male drivers. Speed limits help other drivers know what to expect. Driving at or slightly below the speed limit makes things safer for everybody.
3. Have an Emergency Kit
A car should always be equipped with a flashlight, jumper cables, and emergency first aid kit in the trunk. A spare tire and tire gauge can be useful, as well as an air compressor, and written emergency phone numbers.
4. Check the Weather
Adverse weather conditions like rain, fog, and snow are considerable challenges even for the most experienced drivers. Rules rarely prohibit teens from driving in these conditions, but they should avoid it whenever possible.
5. Use a Safe Car
The safer and more responsive your vehicle, the easier it is for teens to react to unexpected road hazards. An old, worn-out secondhand car can make things more difficult due to deteriorating brakes, steering, and more.
For the best deal on auto insurance for teen drivers, get started with Cheap Insurance today.