Tips for New Teenage Drivers

Throughout the year, Langlois Insurance Agency receives many phone calls from anxious parents who are taking their kids to the DMV to get their driver’s license. These parents are, in insurance terms, freaking out. And, as a parent of an-almost-sixteen-year old, I can completely understand.

Ever since Henry Ford created the first mass produced automobile, parents have dreaded the moment when their child asks, “Hey mom and dad, can I borrow the car?”

Parents have so many worries with allowing their teen behind the wheel of a car. Distracted driving, speeding, texting & driving, adverse weather conditions, are just a few that come to mind. And, with these worries come questions that I am always happy to go over with my customers. Here are some common questions that I often hear from parents as they allow their children to take the wheel:

How can I lower my car insurance rates with my teen driver?

Younger drivers often face paying higher car insurance premiums than more experienced drivers because they are more prone to accidents and, as such, statistically present a higher risk. Fortunately, if you are a young driver (or the parent of a young driver), you can be eligible for a Good Student Discount. This Good Student Discount can be a wonderful way to save money on car insurance coverage for teen drivers. Please contact me for more information about this Good Student Driver discount. My favorite saying to parents, “Good grades can save you money!”

Another discount that your college-aged-driver could be eligible for is a Distant Student Discount. If the student leaves the car at home versus bringing it to school, you may see a decrease in your insurance rates. I have seen rate decreases for college students called a “distant student discount”, which is for a student who is at a college at least 100 miles away and chooses to leave their car at home. As always, please review your specific policy to confirm.

How can I help prevent texting and driving?

Studies have shown that people who read or compose text messages while driving are 23% more likely to be involved in a car crash than other drivers.

Let’s take a second to reread that statement.

Because of this, the law strictly forbids texting and driving. Unfortunately, many of our teen drivers (and let’s be real – adult drivers too) ignore this regulation. Who what can be done about this? Check out this great article that lists driving apps, which prevent texting while driving to help enhance safe driving and reduce the distraction rate.

One of my favorite apps is called SafeDrive. SafeDrive is a well-known app that disables texting while driving on an iPhone. One interesting feature of SafeDrive is that it rewards you for not texting while driving. This app will award you points that can be used toward discounts at participating stores.

Does my 16 year old even need to get their drivers license?

I get this question all the time. Some parents simply don’t believe that 16 is old enough for their child to get their drivers license and that this “rite of passage” into adulthood should be delayed. And, we are also seeing that many 16-year-olds simply aren’t in a huge rush to get their license.

According to a study from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, the percentage of all adults with a driver’s license has, in fact, declined in recent decades. And, the trend is strongest among teenagers.

In 1983, nearly half of American 16-year-old had a driver’s license. By 2016, that number had fallen to about 25% of 16-year-olds. So, if you feel like your teen simply isn’t ready to be behind the wheel, there’s no need to rush.

As always, please don’t hesitate to give me a call if you have any questions regarding your teen drivers insurance coverage. I always love to hear from my customers!

Warmest Regards,
Matt Langlois

What are the Dangers for Teen Drivers?

What are Some Dangers for Teen Drivers?
Did you know that motor vehicle/car crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers in the United States?
According to a statistical study conducted by the CDC (Center for Disease Control), over 2,000 teenagers (ages 16-19) in the United States were killed and approximately 200,000 were treated in the ER for injuries suffered in crashes in 2014.

As a parent of three children, I find these statistics to be quite alarming.

Overall, Illinois has done its job to reduce these numbers by banning hand-held mobile devices while driving, as well as instituting a GDL (Graduated Driver Licensing) system that gives teenagers more supervised driving time before they are fully-licensed drivers.

But, even with these extra steps in place, motor vehicle accidents still remain the top cause of teenager deaths in Illinois, and unfortunately “tough” laws alone won’t prevent these deaths.

So, the IIA (Illinois Insurance Association) created the “5 to Drive” campaign, which offers tips for talking with your teens about safe driving habits. The greatest dangers that face teenagers when driving are:
1) Alcohol consumption and driving.
2) Distracted driving. Teach them not to use cell phones, put on makeup, eat a burger, etc…while driving.
3) Extra passengers in the car while driving.
4) Speeding.
5) Always use your seat belt, even if going a short distance.
6) Driving drowsy. Always be awake and alert.
The idea behind the “5 to Drive” campaign is that parents can foster safe driving habits in their teens through real discussions of what is and is not OK when driving.

It is going to take a collaborative effort to save the lives of teen drivers. The Illinois Insurance Association will continue to discuss safe teen driving habits not only during this “Teen Driver Safety Week”, but all year long.

If you have any further questions on this topic, or about insurance your teen driver, please don’t hesitate to give me a call at Langlois Insurance Agency at #815-485-6676.

Safe driving teens!

Matt Langlois