A Few Tips to Help New Drivers Be Safe on the Road
A typical household with teenagers can be overwhelming for parents who have to chauffer them around town. From the beginning of the day with practice for athletics, to band rehearsal after school, plus any other group projects and last-minute school supply shopping can really wear a parent out. Having an auto insurance policy is extremely important, perhaps even more so with a new driver in the family. Our insurance brokers can help you find the perfect policy to keep your teenage son/daughter protected at all times.
At Shepard Walton King, we know that having young drivers on an insurance policy is a reality that many households face, which is why we try to make obtaining insurance as easy as possible. Find out how we do it.
Young Drivers at Risk
According to the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, car accidents are the leading cause of teen deaths in America. About 2,800 teenagers die each year in car accidents, and for every teen killed, 100 more are injured. Young drivers are eight times more likely to die during their first six months of driving. There are many risks on the road, but for teen drivers, the dangers increase exponentially. We’ll go over a few of them below as well as how to avoid them.
Anything or anybody that disturbs a driver’s focus from the road can be dangerous. Smartphones are the leading cause of these distractions for teens. Whether it’s texting or posting on social media, drivers who use cell phones or any handheld device are four times more likely to be involved in a wreck. 10% of all drivers under 20 involved in fatal car crashes were reported as being distracted at the time of the incident.
Concentrate on the Road
The first thing a teenager should do to make driving safer is to put their phone away. If there are other people in the vehicle, ask them to make a call or send a text for you instead. If being on the phone is extremely important, pull over onto the side of the road or a parking lot. Also, never wear headphones to listen to music. It’s a serious distraction that also mutes out traffic noises like honking horns.
Driving at a high speed is never wise. The faster a car is traveling, the longer it will take to make a complete stop. For example, if a driver doubles their speed from 30 to 60 MPH, the distance it takes to brake doubles as well. Plus, the faster a person drives, the shorter their reaction time. This is another reason why staying focused on the road is so important.
It is important for drivers to understand that speed limits are based on road environment, pedestrian traffic and design. Keep in mind weather changes as well when driving. If rain or snow is in the forecast, a wet road can increase the dangers of speeding. Also, slowing when coming up to curves is also recommended due to risks of skidding or losing control.
Seatbelt use is lowest with teenagers and young adults. According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, roughly two out of every five teens killed in car crashes were not wearing their seatbelts. This statistic includes both drivers and passengers. Buckling up can save lives and prevents damages. In Texas, police officers can issue traffic tickets to unbuckled passengers, so even if you aren’t driving, buckle up anyway. Remember, a seatbelt is the best and last protection if you are in an accident.
As reported by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, drivers between the ages of 16 and 20 are 17 times more likely to die in a crash when they have a blood-alcohol content of .08%. Part of this alarming statistic is due to the fact that young drivers are less compelled to use safety belts when under the influence of alcohol.
Put the Keys Down
When it comes to drinking and driving for teens, zero tolerance is the only option. The penalties for drunk driving minors include:
- A fine of up to $500
- 60-day driver license suspension
- 20 to 40 hours of community service
- Mandatory alcohol-awareness classes
Shepard Walton King Cares
Shepard Walton King understands that finding the best auto insurance policy can take time and plenty of decision-making. This is why we do our best to sit down, go over your options and explore different policies that suit your needs. All you have to do is decide which one to take. For more information about what our McAllen insurance agency can do for you and your teenage driver, get in touch with us.
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