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

Are You a Distracted Driver?

Are You A Distracted Driver?
Did you know that 2016 was the deadliest year on American roadways since 2007? And, the number of driving-related fatalities had the largest two-year spike since 1964.

The National Safety Council (NSC) found that 83% of drivers do believe that distracted and impaired driving is a major safety concern. BUT, 64% admitted that they are comfortable speeding, texting (47%), driving while being impaired by marijuana (13%), or driving after they felt they had consumed too much alcohol (10%).

And, so many of us engage in activities (eating, daydreaming, letting our pets roam loose in the car) that we don’t feel are dangerous, but still cause so many accidents.

Let that sink in for a moment…

As a parent of three children, one who is about to get her learner’s permit in about 2 ½ years, these figures are alarming.

I mean, I can barely watch this Subaru commercial without turning into a blubbering mess.

I can’t imagine the day that I allow her to get behind the wheel of a car without me there to protect her. Especially with these statistics circling around in my thoughts.

So, what can we do about this? How can we keep ourselves, our children, and those around us safe while operating a motor vehicle?

“The good news is we know what works to save lives: high-visibility enforcement of strong traffic laws coupled with public education and awareness,” notes the NSC.

And, insurance companies are starting to take note as well. One company that Langlois Insurance Agency works with, Pekin Insurance, has put together a great website where you can learn more about the dangers of distracted driving.

Plus, it has a fun, interactive Quiz, Focus 2 the Finish, where you can find out if you are engaging in common distractions that put yourself and others at risk.

Check it out! I took the quiz and was shocked – shocked – to learn that even your trusty, local Insurance agent had a few things to improve on (Sorry, Sunny, no more road trips in the Langlois-mobile for you!).

So, let’s keep our roads safe. Because you all are on the roads.

Your loved ones are on the roads.

And, because my Olivia will be on the roads soon.

And – simply – because driving safely is so very important.

Sincerely,

Matt Langlois

Langlois Insurance Agency