How to deal with a teen behind the wheel

Getting a driver’s license is a rite of passage for many teens – and a time of anxiety for parents. Teens have the highest crash rate of all drivers, and crashes are the leading cause of death for that age group.

The first year with a license is the most dangerous period in a young driver's life. Teach by example to keep your teen safe.

  • Buckle up. Teen drivers have the lowest rate of seat belt use according to the Centers for Disease Control. Wearing a seat belt reduces serious crash-related injuries by about half.
  • Put your cell phone and other distractions away. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 58 percent of teen driver crashes were caused by distractions such as cell phones or passengers.
  • Obey driving laws, practice safety and show you take driving seriously. Studies have shown a reduction in risky driving, traffic violations and crashes among teens whose parents set limits on their initial driving privileges.
  • Expose your teen driver to different situations while driving together – night and day, freeways and gravel roads, sunny days and wet weather – to increase their experience.

Check out AAA online resources together

Insuring your new driver    

  • Consider increasing deductibles. A deductible is the portion you pay out of your own pocket if you have to file a claim. Higher deductibles generally equal lower premium costs.
  • Check for discounts. Ask about discounts for good students or teens who complete safe driving courses. You may also be able to save money by combining your auto and home policies with a single insurer.
  • Choose safety over speed. When shopping for a car for your teen driver, avoid cars with high horsepower. Consider heavier vehicles with electronic stability control, which is mandatory for vehicles since the 2012 model year.   


For more information about auto insurance, call your AAA insurance agent or insurance customer service, or visit your local branch.

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