Teen Will Drive Soon

Teenage girl driving car - rear view, sun is visible through front window

It seems like a “right of passage” from childhood into becoming an adult. Your little boy or girl turns 16 and must have a car because everyone in school has one. Teens crave the freedom away from Mom and Dad, acceptance by their peers and the ability to show off (with the right vehicle of course!).

Effective parent-teen communication is critical to help teens recognize and choose safe driving behaviors. With this Parent/Teen Driving Contract you can have the discussion before your teen gets behind the wheel.

Teen Driving Statistics

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of teen death in the United States. An average of 6,000 teens die and another 300,000 are injured annually across the nation. Teens crash for many reasons, but the most common are overconfidence, speeding, impaired driving, distraction, and inexperience. In addition, seat belt use among teens is the lowest of any age group on the road.

In the United States, teens (17 to 20 years of age) are involved in 15% of crashes, but in Illinois, they are involved in a shocking 25% of crashes! A recent study, from Illinois Department of Transportation, shows that motor vehicle crashes are now the #1 killer of teens in America, and while crashes account for only 2% of all deaths nationwide, they account for a surprising 70% of teen injury deaths. Speed, distraction, fatigue, and inexperience, coupled with a lack of seat belt use, are all prevalent factors in these fatal crashes.

Driver Education

Illinois is one of the many states that have enacted Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) laws.

Graduated Driver Licensing is designed to introduce teen drivers to the road in stages, over an extended period of time, in an environment that minimizes risk. A teen typically progresses through a permit phase, where he or she practices with supervision, to a provisional or probationary phase, which allows for independent driving with restrictions. After successfully completing both of these phases, your teen is granted full driving privileges. The key to educating your teen driver is practice. As a parent or guardian of a new teen driver, you should spend as much time as possible helping your newly licensed driver practice their new skills behind the wheel.

Drivers with a GDL license have the following restrictions placed to keep them safe:

  • May not drive between midnight and 5:00 am
  • May not have more than one passenger in the car who is under 21 and not an immediate family member
  • May not use a cell phone (including hands-free), or any other handheld electronic device
  • Driver and ALL passengers must wear seat belts

Illinois GDL law states, your child must complete at least 9 months of driving, with at least 50 hours, including 10 hours at night of driving, and be at least 16 years old before they can apply for a standard driver’s license with no restrictions.

Illinois Fraud Laws and Auto Insurance

Insurance statistics show that since the youthful driver is significantly more likely to have an accident than a typical adult driver, so there will be a higher premium charged when the youthful driver is added to the parent’s auto policy.

There is a temptation then to “forget” to add the new driver to the auto policy or not list the new driver on your renewal questionnaire in order to save money even though the child is driving Mom or Dad’s car. We caution you against this practice. The State of Illinois has certain fraud laws in this area that will allow an insurance company to deny a claim in the event the driver is an undisclosed household operator. In addition, the Attorney General has the ability to fine the policyholder in the range of thousands of dollars.

Insurance-Friendly Cars For Teens

The decision is made. You want to buy your son or daughter their first car. It will be in your name and properly added to your policy. But what to buy? You know it’s not only the car model you have to consider. You have to think about the impact the car will have on your auto insurance.

Insurance companies surcharge youthful operators in three areas:

  • Liability
  • Comprehensive (theft)
  • Collision (damage caused to the vehicle in an accident)

If you choose a vehicle that may be older and does not require comprehensive or collision (a lower value vehicle) the premium will be considerably less than a newer one which will require full coverage.

R.C. Keller & Company is a full serviced Trusted Choice Insurance Agency. We have protected the residents and business of Schaumburg and Park Ridge since 1910. We offer a full array of Personal InsuranceBusiness Insurance, and Life Insurance products. Call us today at 847-907-4520.

We offer more than just a policy

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