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October 15-21 is National Teen Driver Safety Week. During this week, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration encourages parents to have important conversations with their teenagers about staying safe behind the wheel.

According to the United States Department of Transportation, 2,608 people were killed in crashes involving teenage drivers in 2021.

Car crashes remain the leading cause of death among U.S. teens, and according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, drivers ages 16 to 19 are almost three times more likely to be involved in fatal crashes per mile driven than those ages 20 and older.

Don’t Drive While Distracted

Research has shown that texting and driving significantly increases crash risk, and in 2021, the U.S. Department of Transportation reported that 7% of teen fatal crashes involved distracted drivers. Educate your teen on the dangers of driving distracted—this includes eating, applying makeup and adjusting the radio, in addition to cell phone use.

Don’t Drink or Do Drugs

Drinking or doing drugs is both illegal and dangerous while driving a vehicle. In 2021, 19% of teen drivers involved in fatal crashes were intoxicated. Remind your teenager that they should never get in the car with someone who is impaired—in addition to never drinking and driving themselves. Remind your teenager that they can call you or another trusted adult for a safe ride home if they need one.

Limit Passengers

Studies show that a teenager is three times more likely to engage in risky behaviors while driving with multiple passengers. Familiarize yourself with your state’s graduated driving law and enforce these requirements with your teen driver.

Don’t Speed

Speeding was a factor in nearly one-third (32%) of fatal teen crashes in 2021. Closely monitor your teen to ensure safe driving behavior. Be a good role model and don’t speed with your teen in the car.

Wear a Seatbelt

Seat belt use is lowest among teenage drivers. In 2021, over half (51%) of teenage driving fatalities were not wearing a seat belt. Talk to your teenager about why
seat belts are essential. Set a good example by always wearing your seat belt with them in the car.

Don’t Drive While Drowsy

According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, there were 684 fatalities due to drivers being drowsy while behind the wheel in 2021. Studies have shown that teens and young adults are particularly at risk of drowsy driving and subsequent accidents. Carefully monitor and limit your teenager’s night driving per state guidelines.

Additional Resources

Insuring Your Teen Driver

2023 Top Auto Hazards

The Importance of Personal Umbrella Liability Insurance

To find out more about our auto coverages, contact INSURICA today.

This is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel or an insurance professional for appropriate advice. © 2022 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.

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