Obtaining Teen Auto Insurance
Ensuring teenagers know how to drive safely has become a national priority. This is certainly no surprise, given the fact that traffic accidents are the most common killer of teenagers. Sadly, eight out of every ten auto fatalities involving a teenager are caused when another teenager is driving one of the vehicles involved. Statistics reveal that approximately three million accidents involve teenage drivers every single year.
Certain states require that any driver younger than 18 must drive with a learner’s permit for one full year before they can apply for a license. New drivers with a learner’s permit must also have someone else accompany them in the car at all times, regardless of their age. In some states, you can apply for a learner’s permit as young as fifteen.
Role of Parents
Many insurance companies that sell teenage auto insurance policies expect that parents will make the following decisions:
Regular maintenance requirements, including regular oil changes and monitoring tire pressure
Maintaining the vehicle properly and keeping the interior and exterior clean
Ensuring the vehicle has sufficient gas
Which vehicles are accessible to the teenage driver. Every car should have a solid safety rating, be easy to drive and include an airbag on the driver’s side.
Paying for auto insurance
It’s important to note that the rates to obtain teen auto insurance are often two times higher than the cost for adults older than 25. The reason is that statistics reveal that most teenagers between 16 and 20 years old will be involved in an average of three motor vehicle accidents. Many parents believe that forcing their teenagers to pay the cost of auto insurance by working at a part-time job will minimize the risk of having them drive recklessly and cause an accident. For every accident in which a teenage driver is involved, the rates will spike sharply. In fact, auto insurance for teenagers who have already been involved in prior accidents can end up costing thousands of dollars every year.
Keeping Teenage Drivers Safe
It’s very normal for parents to become concerned when their teenagers first learn to drive. During this time period, the pressure can often cause problems with teenagers’ relationships with their parents. There may be a lot of misunderstandings involved. However, ensuring there is a steady flow of communication between you and your teenagers is essential when they begin driving.
This is one of the reasons why insurance companies that offer teen auto insurance encourage parents and their teenagers to communicate frankly with each other regarding the specific driving rules. If you talk openly and honestly about the risk of teen auto crashes and the statistics to back it up, you may end up saving your child’s life. Statistics indicate that parents who take a genuine interest in the driving habits of their teenagers end up in fewer accidents.
Certain insurance companies view younger drivers in a very negative light, even if they do sell teen auto insurance. However, some providers will offer discounts to help lower costs. Regardless, the higher the risk of the driver, the higher the cost of their auto insurance premiums. You must remember this fact when your teenager purchases auto insurance.
Promote Safe Driving
One of the most important steps is to educate yourself about the importance of safe driving and learn more about the various causes of accidents. The majority of insurance companies that offer teen auto insurance also offer driving safety pamphlets. Certain companies even provide videos that parents and teen drivers can watch together. Parents need to maintain regular discussions with their teenage drivers about auto safety so they completely understand how important it is to be careful every time they get behind the wheel. Although the conversations may be somewhat awkward initially, they are well worth the effort and may end up saving your teenager’s life. Another option is to have your teenager enroll in a driver’s education course. Just be sure you continue with your parental responsibilities regarding your teenager’s driving habits.
Draft a Teen Driving Contract
Parents often become very concerned about how much auto insurance will cost when their teenagers decide to begin driving. Many parents also fear losing control of their children. The reality is that most teenagers feel a renewed sense of freedom as soon as they obtain their driver’s license. The problem is that they often fail to realize the responsibilities associated with such a privilege. One way parents can overcome this problem is to draft a driving contract. The document should clearly state all of the rules and the consequences if their teenagers break any of the rules. A driving contract should also include information on proper driving and safety skills.
Elements of the Teen Driving Contract
A teen driving contract should focus on safe driving by including the following rules:
Always ensure everyone in the vehicle is wearing a seat belt
Always obey traffic laws and the posted speed limits
Always advise parents exactly where they will be driving and when they intend to return
Never drive with younger children or with friends for the first 6-12 months, unless accompanied by an adult
Attempt to avoid all distractions, including talking to passengers, using a cell phone or media device or changing channels on a radio
Never drive recklessly or fool around while driving in an attempt to impress others or look “cool”
Never drive while using drugs or alcohol, keep alcohol in the vehicle or be a passenger in a vehicle with a driver who has been using drugs or drinking alcohol
Parents should monitor their teenagers closely to ensure they are not using drugs or alcohol before driving. The main cause of fatal vehicle crashes is currently driving while impaired, and the number of such accidents continues to rise. It’s important that your teenager understands that they can always telephone you for a ride if they become stranded at an event. You don’t want them to feel they have no choice but to enter a vehicle with an impaired driver in order to get home.
Motor vehicle accidents occur more frequently during the hours of 9PM and 2AM than during daylight hours. Because driving at night is often for difficult for new, inexperienced drivers, you should establish realistic curfews. However, be sure your teenage driver understands that you would prefer that they drive safely and arrive home late rather than speeding just to make their curfew. Request that they call you to advise you they are running a little late.