Teenage Driver Notes

Help me, my teenager is driving! It has been your child's dream since he or she was little. He used to pretend he was a bus driver with the other neighborhood kids; she fantasized with her friends about cruising around town. And now they have reached that magical age and have asked the dreaded question, "Mom, Dad, can I get my driver's license?"

If you have gone through this before with their older siblings, you know how a sleepless night of worry and panic feels. If you are a first time parent, there is no doubt that you will find out. But as a parent of a driving or nearly driving teenager, this information is important for you to know and share with your teenager.

  • In motor vehicle accidents and traffic violations involving teenagers, speeding is more likely to be a factor.
  • The frequency of automobile insurance claims for occupant injuries involving teenage drivers is more than twice as high as the injury claim frequency involving adult drivers.
  • Overall vehicle damage losses are more than twice as high in cars insured for teenagers to drive. The worst combination is teenagers driving sports cars.
  • More than 40 percent of all deaths of 16 to 19 year olds occur from motor vehicle crashes.
  • Every year, more than 5,000 teenagers of driving age die in crashes - slightly more than half are drivers.
  • Two-thirds of teen passenger deaths occur in vehicles driven by other teenagers.

Beginner teenage drivers are both inexperienced and immature — problems that contribute to a high crash risk. As a parent, there are steps and precautions you can take to curb these horrifying statistics. By following these safety suggestions, you will be helping to minimize your child's chances of getting into an automobile accident.

  • Choose safer cars for your teenagers to drive, keeping in mind that larger cars are safer than smaller ones. Air bags and anti­lock brakes make cars safer, too. They can also earn you discounts on your premium.
  • Give your teenager plenty of supervised driving practice in the learning and early driving stages, even after he/she has earned his/her driver's license.
  • Remember that safety belt use is low among teenagers ‑‑ even in states with safety belt laws. Make it mandatory that your children buckle up every single time they get into the car.
  • Make every effort possible to enforce no-drinking-and-driving rules. If your teenage child does drink, despite the rules, make sure there is a way for him or her to get home without driving.
  • Be aware of the especially high risk involved when teenage drivers and passengers travel together, without adults.
  • Place restrictions on nighttime driving by your teenager.

Next time your teenager asks to borrow the car, put these precautionary steps into action. Don't let your child become a statistic.

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