Rings, No Belts and Too Many Buds: A Costly Combo

As your teen prepares to hit the books and head to high school, it might be a good idea to check their accessories. However, we’re not talking about their wardrobe; we’re talking about their driving.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Center for Statistics and Analysis there are certain fads your TEEN should avoid when driving the car.

Hand-held cellphone use is highest among 16- to 24-year-olds and the fines for texting or phone use can be costly. So put your phone in the glove box or in the trunk of your car – seriously! Unless you’re waiting for a new kidney, is the call really that important?!?

37% of male drivers ages 15-20 who are involved in fatal crashes were speeding at the time. What’s your hurry? The old saying “time is money” could be talking about teens and speeding tickets because the time a teen saves by speeding can add up to a 15-45% increase in their insurance premiums.

Statistics show that 16- and 17-year-old driver death rates increase with each additional passenger. Sure it’s fun to drive your buddies and besties around, but it is important, especially in the beginning, that you limit the number of passengers with your teenage drivers. Parents, start with limiting them to 1 or 2 passengers. Let them get comfortable driving with other people and then adjust the number if you feel they can handle more passengers. This is a good compromise since your teen can still drive with their friends and you can stop worrying about your teenage drivers being distracted by too many passengers.

BUT BE CAUTIONED:

55%, or 2,014, of the 3,678 occupants of passenger vehicles ages 16-20 who are killed in crashes are not buckled up. Belts are IN. Wear them. Also be warned, teen drivers: if passengers in your car are not belted and they are injured in a crash – insurance companies can blame the DRIVER for the injuries of any unbelted passenger. If your teen is found to be at fault, the injured parties would have the opportunity to sue your insurance company to recover as much of those costs as possible. In the event that the insurance company doesn’t cover everything, suing you and your family would be the next logical step. If that happens, you could lose your home or possessions, along with a portion of your wages through garnishment.

31% of drivers ages 15-20 who are killed in motor vehicle crashes have been drinking some amount of alcohol; 25% are alcohol-impaired, meaning they have a blood alcohol content of 0.08 grams per deciliter or higher. In this instance, not only would your premiums increase dramatically, it would be cause for many insurance companies to drop your policy altogether … not to mention potential jail time that would affect your life for years.

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