In late October we learned about National Teen Driver Safety Week which took place October 21-27, 2018. While researching more about this important campaign, we concurred with the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) that conversations between teens and parents should take place every week to stress important safety rules and practices in an effort to save lives and prevent injuries. It’s true, teen driver safety is a family affair.
Teen Driver Safety by the Numbers
Facts and statistics will bring home how important it is for the whole family to understand and become involved in promoting safe driving for our teenagers. Organizations and federal agencies offer all of us some stark stats. Along with the United States Department of Transportation, consider observations from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Insurance Information Institute (III), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), AAA Keys2Drive initiative, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Highway Loss Data Institute (IIHSHLDI). Reflect on these hard numbers:
- 2,433 teens between the ages of 16 -19 were killed in motor vehicle crashes in the year 2016.
- Emergency departments treated 292,742 teens as a result of injuries suffered in automobile accidents.
- In the United States, according to the CDC motor vehicle accidents are the number one cause of teenage deaths, which means six teens died every day as a result of an automobile crash.
- These stats are 68% less than in 1975, but 3% higher than 2015.
Understanding your graduated driver licensing (GDL) program
Depending on your age or when you obtained your first driver’s license, you may or may not be familiar with Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL). Or it could be that while you were not subject to such state laws, your children who came of age in the mid 1990s or later were the first generation of your family to experience the elements of GDL. The III offers a general overview of GDL laws:
“Graduated licensing requires a more rigorous learning period before granting young people between the ages of 15 and 18 a driver’s license with full privileges. Graduated licensing consists of three stages. Stage 1 (learners permit) requirements and recommendations include a vision test, a road knowledge test, driving accompanied by a licensed adult, seat belt use by all vehicle occupants, a zero BAC level, and six months with no crashes or convictions for traffic violations. Stage 2 (intermediate license) includes the completion of Stage 1, a behind-the-wheel road test, advanced driver education training, driving accompanied by a licensed adult at night, and 12 consecutive months with no crashes or convictions for traffic offenses before reaching Stage 3 (full license).”
The most important item to be aware of is that GDL laws vary from state to state. Therefore, both parents and teens must learn what the GDL laws are in their particular state. The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) provides information for all State Highway Safety Offices, as well as a useful chart by state of the basic rules.
For example, our John Bailey Company is located in Knoxville, TN, and the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security offers a Quick Summary to promote a Safe Journey by explaining the requirements for all driver license class levels, as well as a detailed section on the Teen/Graduated Driver License.
Meet with the John Bailey Company team to insure a great life
Sooner or later all parents face that “rite of passage,” a time when their teenagers are ready to learn how to drive and more importantly learn about driving safety. If you are approaching this milestone, we invite you to meet with our team to discuss adding your teen(s) to your automobile policy. Here are some items to consider:
- Can you add your teenage driver to just one or your vehicles?
- Do certain insurance companies offer discounts for good student or driving training?
- Does adding a monitoring device to your vehicle(s) to track driving behaviors provide a discount for your premium?
We encourage all parents (and teens) to take this responsibility seriously, particularly when current surveys indicate “Most parents don’t enforce teen driver safety.” Remember, teen driver safety is a family affair.