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Auto Insurance Series Part One: Teen Driving

Getting a driver’s license is a milestone that everyone looks forward to; that taste of freedom when you finally get behind the wheel and drive wherever you please. Maximum freedom, minimum responsibility.

Parents, on the other hand, may have a slightly different take on the situation. Putting your teen behind the wheel can be a nerve-wracking experience. Technology has changed and grown over the years, and so have the potential distractions that could affect your teen’s driving skills. Luckily for drivers, technology on cars has also improved with time, adding some counterbalance to the distractions that could pull your child’s attention away from the road. These challenges and improvements have an impact on auto insurance. While your new driver (and maybe you) may be eager to hand over the keys, here are a couple of things to keep in mind when it comes to your auto insurance policy and your new teen driver:

A new driver’s insurance policy typically costs more than the average policy, but for good reason. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, teenagers are the most likely age range to get into car accidents and are 2.5 times more likely to get into an accident than 20-24 year olds. The likelihood of teen driver deaths also increases with every additional passenger in the car. While these statistics can be scary, these odds decrease as your child’s age increases. The bottom line is that teenager’s lack of driving experience and its implications impact the cost of the policy to protect you and your family financially should an accident occur. Newly licensed drivers are charged a surcharge for the first three years they are driving. Rates can begin to decrease after the first year but significant decreases do not start to occur until after the seventh year of driving. Since there are still a significant number of people who do not get their license at age 16, the rates use experience rather than age.

It may feel like there are distractions everywhere that could take your teenagers attention away from the road, particularly their favorite accessories: cell phones. 26 percent of American teens admit to texting while driving. We recommend setting the expectation that your child is not allowed to text or talk on the phone while driving. You can have your child sign the pledge to drive distraction-free by clicking here. 48 percent of teens from ages 12-17 report being in a car where the driver was texting and driving, so be sure to set the example and refrain from texting and driving, especially in front of your impressionable children.

Having a new driver in the family can seem daunting when considering the number of potential distractions coupled with high auto insurance premiums. Keeping these things in mind can help you not only keep your sanity but also keep your child safe behind the wheel.

Penny Insurance wants to keep new drivers and first car memories positive while protecting your family. With 86 years of experience, Penny Insurance can help you find the most competitive policy and address all of your teen driver’s needs.