It’s no secret that teen drivers aren’t usually great drivers. Their lack of experience is more likely to result in an accident, and that’s why adding a teen driver to your insurance policy can increase your rate by more than 200 percent in California. Nationwide, the average increase was 152 percent. While this can be frustrating, it's for a good reason: there is data that demonstrates that teen drivers are at greater risk of an accident.
One out of every 10 speed-related fatalities involved a teen driver in 2016. In that same year, 1,050 people were killed just in the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day — known as the 100 Deadliest Days. This is a period when school is out and young drivers have the free time to hit the road to go to work, vacation, or just cruise around town. It’s why there’s a 14 percent increase in road fatalities involving teen drivers, an average of 10 people a day.
The statistics are staggering
Speed and nighttime driving are two of the biggest factors in accidents involving teen drivers. In 2016, 36 percent of accidents involving a teen driver happened between 9pm and 5am. Furthermore, 10 percent of all nighttime crash fatalities involved a teen driver. During the 100 Deadliest Days, there was a 22 percent increase of these accidents per day on average. Roughly 29 percent of all teen driver-related fatalities were speed-related.
Both speeding and driving at night present increased challenges to new drivers and they have resulted in deaths year after year. They aren’t the only factors in accidents, however. That’s why it’s important for parents and guardians to be involved in their teens’ driving habits.
Preventing teen driver accidents
While driving school is a great option for teens, and can mitigate the increase in insurance rates, parents should continue teaching their teens and reaffirm good driving habits. Start by having a conversation about safe driving and help them understand the risky behaviors, such as speeding. Be aware of any curfews for teen drivers in your state and set your own rules for your teen. Demonstrate safe driving habits while you are behind the wheel and explain how to navigate various situations on the road.
Being involved in your teen's driving while they are still developing their habits can go a long way toward preventing them from being involved in one of thousands of crashes that happen every year involving their age group. Moreover, establishing good habits now will help your teen stay safe on the road throughout adulthood.
If your teen was involved in an accident or you were involved in an accident with a teen driver, knowing what to do in such situations can be overwhelming for everyone involved. Even knowing what your rights are as a car accident victim in California might not be clear.