#1 Cause of Teen Accidents
Three things you can do about it
Do you have a new driver on your policy or a teen about to get a learner’s permit?
Teens are nine times more apt to be in any type of crash and three times more likely to be in a fatal crash. Here are some things that you as a parent can do to help keep your teen driver safe.
The major culprit
Distracted driving causes about 58% of all teen driver crashes. Here’s what you can teach your teens to protect them.
- Nix passengers: 15% of crashes happened when drivers interacted with friends. Be especially careful if your son is the new driver. Male drivers and even male passengers increase risky behaviors such as tailgating and speeding.
- Leave the phone alone: 13% of accidents occurred while the teen driver was using a mobile device. An in-vehicle camera study found:
- Teens talking, texting, or otherwise using their phones took their eyes off the road for more than four of the final six seconds before a crash.
- Cell phone users in rear-end incidents crashed without braking or evasive steering more than half the time – they’d been totally oblivious to the circumstances.
- Keep your eyes on the road: 10% of drivers who crashed looked at something in the car, and 9% looked at something outside the car.
- Enjoy music safely: 8% of teen drivers crashed because the driver was singing/moving to music.
- Get ready before you leave: 6% of distracted drivers were styling hair, putting on makeup, etc.
- Keep both hands on the wheel: 6% of teen drivers crashed while reaching for an item.
The liability issue
The odds of your teen being in an accident are high. The odds of a claim against you are also high. Bodily Injury claims can be very expensive. Claims for medical costs can easily exceed what a policy with low coverage amounts would pay. Be sure your auto insurance has coverage limits that reflect the risk. Those making a claim for damages include:
- Parents of other teens injured in an accident in which your teen is at fault.
- Adult victims who not only have medical costs, but could also lose wages or require compensation if they must hire others to do household activities. (Learn more about what Bodily Injury Liability coverage does.)
Coverage limits – what to think about
Electric Insurance recommends that you have Bodily Injury Liability coverage of at least $100,000 per person and $300,000 per incident. Don’t forget to evaluate your Property Damage Liability coverage amounts.
Tip the odds in your teen’s favor
These free tools can help you keep your teen safe on the road and instill a lifetime of good driving habits.
Graduated Driver Licensing tool
Parent/teen driver agreement
Your participation in your teen’s driving education has enormous influence. The American Academy of Pediatrics developed a Parent-Teen Driving Agreement (PDF 466kb) that can reduce your teen’s risk.
Great Driver™ smartphone app1
Anyone can use our mobile app. Great Driver captures where and when your teen drives. It records objective information about swerving, sharp cornering, abrupt acceleration, harsh braking, speeding, and cell phone use. Set an example and make it fun by having parents and teens alike download the app. Invite them to your Leaderboard so you can keep an eye on the score. Make sure to see trip information so you can stay on top of driving activities.
Our Risk Coaches are licensed insurance professionals who are trained to look at coverage from your perspective.2 They’re glad to help you navigate the often-perplexing world of insurance coverage. Call our Risk Coach™ professionals at 800.342.5342, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET.
1. The Great Driver™ smartphone app is a Risk Coach™ service from Electric Insurance Company®
2. Products, services, programs, credits, and discount availability and limits vary by state. The information provided on this site is provided for informational purposes only and is not a full explanation of products, services, or coverage. For more information, please contact Electric Insurance Company at 800.227.2757. If there are discrepancies between the information on this site and the policy, the terms in the policy apply.
Electric Insurance Company Risk Coaches help you assess your current coverages and exposure to risk based on the information you provide during your discussion with them. The services provided are for informational purposes only and do not create a professional or fiduciary relationship. Incomplete information or a change in your circumstances after your meeting may affect coverage requirements or recommendations.