Teen Drivers

July 7, 2015
Teen Drivers

Ask any teen made to pay his or her own car insurance and they will tell you: it’s expensive!!!

Since insurance is all about risk, these high premiums indicate the problem. Drivers aged 16- to 19-year-olds are far more at risk for accidents than any other age group. In fact, for each mile driven, teen drivers ages 16 to 19 are almost four times more likely than other drivers to crash that many other age groups.

Teens between 16-19 were involved in 963,000 crashes in 2013.

Crashes remain the number one killer of our adolescents, well more than guns, drugs or kidnappings.

Here are a few tips that all teens need to be mindful of:

1. Following Too Closely: Overdriving the brakes and tailgating are common mistakes for teen drivers. Due to their inexperience, they tend to follow more closely than they could stop if the car ahead brakes suddenly. Braking distance varies by condition and speed, but if another car easily cannot cut in between your teen and the car ahead, he is likely too close.

2. Distracted Driving: This is finally getting some attention now that texting and driving became illegal in Tennessee a few years back. However, cell phones are not the leading distraction. Passengers are! This information is part of the reason Tennessee adopted a graduated license programs that does not allow many passengers early on. In one study, 60% of crashes involved distraction.

3. Seat Belt Use: More than half the fatalities among teens will be among those not wearing seat belts. Frankly, some crashes are simply not survivable. However, being thrown around unbelted turns survivable accidents into fatal accidents.

4. Speeding: In one teen study, 79% of single car crashes occurred simply due to being driven too fast.

5. Assuming: Never make assumptions about what other drivers are going to do. The only thing you know about a turn signal is that they have a turn signal on. Do not rely on it. When light turns green, make sure intersection clears before you go. Do not assume no one will run the light. Assume they will.

6. Being Waved Out: Do not trust being waved out, especially if the road has multiple lanes.

In general:

Don’t drive like you own the road. Drive like you own the car.

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