Kids grow up fast. It seems like just yesterday you were watching your child take their first steps – and now you’re watching them take their first drive in the family car.
Getting a driver’s license is a big milestone for teenagers, but it’s perhaps a bigger one for parents. Not only is your little one suddenly handling adult responsibilities, but you’re also likely shouldering the financial burden of a teen driver, and it can be a bit of a shock. Nationwide, auto insurance premiums rise an average of 78% ($671) when adding a teen driver; the increase is even higher in Washington state, at nearly 83%.*
It may seem ridiculous, but it’s well-reasoned: according to the CDC, drivers aged 16-19 are nearly three times more likely to be in a fatal crash than those aged 20 and above. In fact, car accidents are the leading cause of death among teenagers. But even the more minor collisions are nearly four times as likely to happen in the first few years after getting a license. The lack of driving experience, paired with the still-maturing adolescent brain, often leads to distracted driving, rash decisions, and careless behavior – but it doesn’t have to.
The American Automobile Association (AAA) states that 6 out of 10 teen crashes involve driver distraction. This could be anything from interaction with passengers to cell phone use, and it’s a serious problem that should be addressed with your teenager prior to getting behind the wheel.
If you feel like your teen needs more accountability, consider downloading a driving app that tracks behaviors like speeding, rapid acceleration/braking, and phone use. Safeco recommends the free mobile app Mojo, which records driving trips and works on a point system: start with a perfect score, and lose points for phone screen swipes, typing, and phone calls. After enough excellent drives, your teen can win a small gift card!
There are also several ways you can help lower your auto insurance premium when adding a teenager, including completion of a drivers’ education course and a defensive driving class. In addition, many insurance companies offer discounts for good students. And always consider the factors that influence your own premium, such as the type and age of car, annual mileage, and more.
Come talk to us today to find what fits YOUR family’s needs!
Photo: Leonid Mamchenkov, https://flic.kr/p/jvVFR, 2006. Unedited from original version.