Teen Will Drive Soon
Teen Driving Statistics
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of teen death in the United States. An average of 6,000 teens die and another 300,000 are injured annually across the nation. Teens crash for many reasons, the most common are:
- Impaired driving
Also, seat belt use among teens is the lowest of any age group on the road.
Nationwide, drivers 17 to 20 years of age are involved in 15% of crashes, but in California they are involved in a shocking 22% of crashes!
California is one of many states that have enacted Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) laws.
Graduated Driver Licensing is designed to introduce teenagers to driving in stages, over an extended period of time, in an environment that minimizes risk. A teen typically progresses through a permit phase, where he or she practices with supervision, to a provisional or probationary phase, which allows for independent driving with restrictions.
Drivers holding a GDL license have the following restrictions placed upon them:
- May not drive between midnight and 5:00am
- May not have more than one passenger in the car who is under 21 and not an immediate family member
- May not use a cell phone (including hands free), or any other hand held electronic device
- Driver and ALL passengers must wear seat belts
Once the new driver has completed at least 6 months of driving, and is at least 16 years old, they can apply and receive a standard California driver’s license with no restrictions.
Following successful completion of this phase, a teen is granted full driving privileges. The best way to educate a young driver is to have them practice. As parents or guardians of the new teen driver, you should spend as much time as possible helping the them practice their new skills behind the wheel.
California Fraud Laws and Auto Insurance
Insurance statistics show that since the youthful driver is significantly more likely to have an accident than a typical adult driver, so there will be a higher premium charged when the youthful driver is added to the parents policy.
There is a temptation then to “forget” to add the new driver to the auto policy or not list the new driver on your renewal questionnaire in order to save money even though the child is driving Mom or Dad’s car. We caution you against this practice.
The State of California has fraud laws in this area that will allow an insurance company to deny a claim in the event the driver is an undisclosed household operator. In addition, the Attorney General has the ability to fine the policy holder in the range of thousands of dollars.
Insurance-Friendly Cars For Teens
When deciding on what car to buy for your new driver, you not only have to consider the car model, you also have to think about the impact the car will have on your auto insurance.
When you buy insurance for your teen, you will be considering:
Collision (damage caused to the vehicle in an accident)
If you choose a vehicle that may be older, and does not require comprehensive or collision (a lower value vehicle) the premium will be considerably less than a newer one which will require full coverage.
Because we represent many different companies, your WHINS Insurance Agency agent can help you make the right decision when buying that first car for your teenager.
Contact us today, or fill out a request for a free Encino auto insurance quote to find out the money we can save you and your new driver.