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Many parents rightly experience a strong anxiety when they turn over the car keys to their new teenage driver. There are several things a parent can do to make sure that teenage driving is safe. First, teens must understand that driving is a privilege, not a right. Privileges come with certain responsibilities. It is best to take responsibility and consequences in order not to meet them as clearly as possible. One way to do this is with an actual agreement between parents and teenagers built around the concept of approved licensing and limitations for high-risk situations.
The sharp reality is this: teenage drivers have the highest crash rate for any age group. Not surprisingly, 1
IIHS data also suggests a number of other features involved in teenage accidents. For example:
- Speed – The proportion of fatalities with speed was 85% for 16 year olds and 78% for 17-19 year olds.
- Texting – Young drivers are more likely than older people to text while driving.
- Passengers – Fatal accidents with 3 or more passengers in the car accounted for 37% of 16 year-old accidents and 34% of crashes for 17-19 year-olds.
- Alcohol – Always a problem and a disproportionate factor for all age groups. But alcohol usually weighs on as a major factor in lethal crashes with slightly older teenagers; The proportion for 16 year olds is 11%, for 17-19 year olds the number goes to 24%.
- Night Driving – The deadly crash rate for 16 year olds is about twice as high as during daytime. 19659006] Seatbelts – 75% of fatalities for 15-20 year olds did not wear safety belts.
Many states have adopted "graduated licensing". In these systems, driving is limited during the first year or two until the experience behind the wheel can be achieved. Often, these restrictions contain no night driving and no interstate or other restricted access and high speed trains. Another common limitation limits the number of passengers in a vehicle unless an adult is present. When inexperienced drivers have gained more experience, they are better prepared for more difficult driving situations. The results, in the states and countries that have adopted graduate licensing, have been encouraging with reductions in teenage crash and death.
Here are some other restrictions that can be removed gradually:
- No driving on interstate roads or other restricted access, high speed boundaries,
- Avoid some overload through hours during congestion hours (eg during rush hour or shopping district during peak times),
- Dangerous crossing streets
- Minimize distractions while experience is achieved by delaying the installation of sound systems or prohibiting the use of mobile phones while driving
- Include requirements for a particular number of hours of driving while driving in limited scenarios before canceling these restrictions,
- Zero Tolerance for Any Traffic Violations, including Tips in Vehicles or Subtitles,
- Beat other desirable behaviors on driving benefits. For example, driving rights can be interrupted or restricted unless a certain grade average is maintained.
- Restrict vehicles that are driven to those who are safer and less likely to tempt ruthlessly driving behavior. Avoid high-performance sports cars or high-gravity vehicles (prone to roll over, this includes many SUVs) and look for vehicles with safety features such as passive barrier protection, high-mounting brake light. Make sure older vehicles are inspected for safety and reliability.
Penalties shall be scaled in accordance with the gravity of the infringement. For very serious acts, revocation of driving rights may be required. For less serious violations, the contract may require additional restrictions, such as permission to drive to and from school or work. Another consequence may be to demand the teens to pay some or all of their insurance premiums. In fact, you might want to schedule a meeting with your insurance agent to go over the factors that affect the cost and availability of insurance before turning the keys for the first time.
Make sure your contracts are planning for extraordinary circumstances. For example, what should you do if your teen is unauthorized to drive; what should you do if your teen is a passenger in a vehicle whose driver is unauthorized to drive. Crashes are the leading cause of death among teenagers, so you must play an active role in protecting your child even in situations where they may not be running.
Here is a trial contract (PDF) to get started. You can customize it to suit your situation. Included in the contract is a simple scoring system to point out contract breaches.
For questions about car insurance, call or contact Keller-Brown Insurance Services today.