Teen Drivers

Teen Drivers

It seems like a “right of passage” from childhood into becoming an adult. Your little boy or girl turns 15 and wants to get their learners permit. How does this impact you and your insurance? Call the experts and Veritas Risk Management and we will walk you through the process!

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, but the most common are overconfidence, speeding, impaired driving, distraction, and inexperience. In addition, seat belt use among teens is the lowest of any age group on the road. In the United States, teens (17 to 20 years of age) are involved in 15% of crashes, and in some localized areas that percentage is even higher!

Due to the high death toll involved with teen driving, many states have enacting Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) laws.

Graduated Driver Licensing introduces teenage drivers to the road in stages, over an extended period of time and in an environment that minimizes risk. First is the Permit Phase where the teen practices with supervision. Next is the Provisional or Probationary Phase where the teen is allowed independent driving with restrictions. Only after successfully completing both phases will the teen be granted full driving privileges. As your teen learns this new and important skill, practice is very important. As a parent or guardian of a new driver, spend as much time as possible helping and teaching your teen good driving habits. Also remember that they will mimic your actions! In other words, if you don’t want your teen to talk and drive, then you should not talk and drive. You set the example. Of course, you already know that texting and driving is illegal most states.

Many states have restrictive laws that go along with having a GDL license, such as:

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
These laws may vary a bit in each state but most states do have some sort of teen driving restrictions.

Tennessee 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 Tennessee has certain 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.

Insurance-Friendly Cars For Teens

The decision is made. You want to buy your son or daughter their first car. It will be in your name and properly added to your policy. But what to buy? You know it’s not only the car model you have to consider. You also have to think about the impact the car will have on your auto insurance.

Insurance companies surcharge youthful operators in three areas:

Comprehensive (theft)
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.

Contact Veritas and one of our professional and knowledgeable agents can help you make the right decision when buying that first car for your teenager.