Your teen is almost sixteen years old and anxiously awaiting his/her driver’s license. How exciting for you both! You will no longer have to drive him/her to places like school, practice, a friend’s home, and piano lessons. There’s something to be said about all the free time you’ll gain once your teenager becomes a licensed driver. But as with most changes, this so-called “freedom” comes with a price – not only financially, but it also presents parents with a whole new set of worries, the safety of teen drivers.
It is no secret that lack of experience and immaturity can play a huge role in the success of your young driver. The Insurance Information Institute (III) provides insight as to why their level of maturity and experience are of concern:
- Teen’s lack of experience affects their recognition of, and response to, hazardous situations and results in dangerous practices such as speeding and tailgating.
- Teens can be easily distracted. Activities that take drivers’ attention off the road (talking or texting on mobile devices, eating, and talking with passengers) are a major safety threat.
- Teens have a greater chance of getting involved in an accident if other teens are present in the vehicle.
- Night driving is another major contributing factor to the higher crash risk of young drivers.
The fear and worry you feel about your teen being behind the wheel is real. Studies indicate 80 percent of all teen drivers will be in a police reported collision during the first three years of driving. Even worse, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) refers to motor vehicle crashes as the leading cause of death for teenagers.
As a parent, you want to give your teen the tools he or she needs to be a safe driver, rather than a statistic. One tool I highly recommend is the ADEPT Driver® teenSMART® Driver Safety Program. The program has been proven to reduce the chance of being in a crash by up to 30 percent! teenSMART is downloadable software you install on your home PC that uses realistic driving simulations, videos, in-car exercises and other parent-teen activities.
- teenSMART identifies and addresses the six behavioral and social factors that cause more than 90 percent of all teen collisions.
- New drivers learn to anticipate dangerous situations, develop critical decision-making skills, become aware of their surroundings, and expect the unexpected.
- teenSMART helps new drivers develop the skills they need to become better drivers now rather than waiting for those skills to improve over time.
Your insurance carrier may offer such a program at a reduced cost; check with your independent insurance agent today to see if your insurance carrier offers teenSMART! Once your teen completes the program and passes the certification test, their vehicle could be eligible for savings. It will also provide you with peace of mind knowing you helped provide your teen with extra knowledge on safe driving.
For updates on how to keep your teen safe on the road and provide peace of mind through a Roadside Assistance program, read Providing Peace of Mind on the Road.