In the United States, if you are 18 and you passed the driving test, you are eligible to get a valid driver’s license. In some countries, teens as early as 16 years old can obtain a full-pledged driving license, but that is another story. As with any agent would tell you, insuring your sons or daughters these days is pretty much expensive.
The reason behind, is that teen car insurance is considered as a high-risk coverage most especially for the male drivers. Any insurance providers would agree that drivers from this age group usually engage in risky driving habits and irresponsible behaviors. Additionally, today’s modern cars are equipped with attention-grabbing devices such as radios, CD players, iPods, the use of mobile phones while driving and carrying rowdy and noisy friends that eventually distracts the guy behind the wheel. The situation gets even more alarming when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) revealed that 11 or so teens would lose their lives every day due to motor vehicle related accidents. Accordingly, car accidents are the leading cause of teen mortality in United States.
States respond to this situation
To circumvent the situation, most of the U.S. states have implemented the so-called “graduated driving privileges” whose main purpose is to impose restrictions to teen drivers until they show the responsibility needed to operate a vehicle. The law specifically prohibits a teen driver from operating a car without an adult present inside the car. Likewise, he is not allowed to carry passengers or even friends when operating the vehicle that further extends to late night driving, from 11PM to 6AM, except when it is work related. The said restrictions are carried to a period of six months to one year that will eventually end up with full-unrestricted driving rights.
Washington DC’s lawmakers want to take the law a little further by denying teens to acquire full driving privileges not until they turned 18. There are now bills in both houses requiring U.S. states to impose the law or lose federal funding.
Understanding the statistics
Michael Castle, the co-sponsor of the House bill, reiterated that it would greatly reduce the number of accidents, sudden deaths of the teenagers and serious injuries to life and properties in the United States. Allstate, one of the largest insurers in the U.S., have also shown similar opinions and added that the graduated licensing could actually save money between 20 to 40 percent.
Despite the wide support from the adult group, neither the Senate nor the House has gotten ample support. Meanwhile, for families with teen drivers, expect paying high premium rates as specified by existing insurance laws.
How to lower down those rates
Few things you can start right away to help your teen driver get the best insurance deals he deserved.
First, do not be afraid to punish him if he commits serious mistakes on the road – illegal lane change, for instance. The good old, four-door sedan car is best for him (as of the moment) instead of the luxurious, sweet and shiny sports car. Such cars are already expensive to insure how much more if they are driven by a teen. Third, always make it a point to remind your teenager to strive for good grades. Statistically, according to insurance companies, students who excel in their academics are less likely seen filing accident claims.