If your teenager recently got behind the wheel, you are understandably concerned with their safety. And with the arrival of warmer weather, teens are hitting the roads in droves, making driving during the summer season more dangerous than ever.
From 2010 to 2019, more than 7,000 people died in teen driving-related summertime crashes, according to AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. New teen drivers ages 16-17 are three times as likely as adults to be involved in a deadly crash, AAA reported.
The travel agency also found that distraction was a factor in nearly 6 out of 10 moderate-to-severe teen crashes. These distractions included interacting with a smartphone and talking to other passengers in the vehicle.
To ensure your teens are driving safely, enact these five simple rules:
Put down the cell phone
Dialing a number on a cell phone while driving increases a teen’s risk of crashing by six times while texting increases their risk by 23 times, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. These actions not only take a teen’s focus off driving but they reduce their ability to react to another driver, a roadway hazard or weather situation.
Turn down the music
Teach your teens to change the radio station only when stopped, set up their Bluetooth on devices, and encourage them to turn the volume down a few notches.
Monitor the number of passengers in the vehicle
Lay down the law on how many passengers your teen is allowed to have in the vehicle to cut back on distractions.
Preach defensive driving
Even though you may think your teen is a great driver, teach them to always prepare for the other driver. You never know who will be out on the road regardless of the time of day you’re driving and you should never assume the other driver is going to do what they should. Better safe than sorry.
Promote seat belts
The NHTSA reported in 2019 that 45% of teen drivers who died in crashes were not wearing a seat belt. Let your teen know it doesn’t matter if they’re driving to the grocery store down the street or going on a road trip, they must be safe and buckle up!
Consider enrolling your teen in the teenSMART® safe driver program to reduce their chances of being in a crash while also lowering your auto insurance costs. Upon completion of the program, you can qualify to save up to 15% with a teen driver discount added to your teen’s auto policy with MAPFRE Insurance. If you are a new customer in Massachusetts, you could also ask about MAPFRE’s MotionSmartSM that collects and analyzes driving data and displays an overall driving score assessed by combining hard braking, hard acceleration, hard cornering, speeding, and phone use. You can potentially lower your premiums through safe driving!
Hopefully these tips were helpful. An independent agent can always review your auto insurance policies to make sure you have the right coverage. If you are not a MAPFRE customer yet, you can always get a fast, free quote today on your Massachusetts car insurance to get outstanding coverage at a great price.