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Teen Will Drive Soon

If you have a teen that just turned 16, most likely they are asking to get their permit. If they aren't put it off as long as possible. If they have their permit and soon will be licensed there is some very valuable information that you need to be aware of. There are many resources available direct from the Department of Motor Vehicle to keep your teen safe while on the road.

Teen Driving Statistics

Now and for the next several months teens have the greatest risk of being seriously injured or killed in an automobile accident. When they have a passenger in the car that risk doubles. This doesn't necessarily mean they were doing something wrong either. However in a split second while they are laughing with their friend or glance at a cell phone someone could hit them!

Here are some more staggering statistics that you as a parent need to know:

  • Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens and about 1/4 involve an underage drinking driver
  • Kids who start drinking young are seven times more likely to be in an alcohol related crash
  • High school students who use alcohol or other substances are five times more likely to drop out of school.
  • Teen alcohol use kills about 4,700 people each year, more than all illegal drugs combined.
  • In 2011, 226 children were killed in drunk driving crashes. Of those, 122 (54%) were riding with a drunk driver.
  • The rate of drunk driving is highest among 21-25 year olds
  • One in six teens binge drink. Only 1 in 100 parents believes his or her teen binge drinks.
  • Almost one in three 8th graders has tried alcohol.
  • Almost every 90 seconds, a person is injured in a drunk driving crash.
  • In 2012, 10,322 people died in drunk driving crashes - one every 51 minutes

Now I am not saying that all teens or your teen is going to be one of those statistics but they are facts that we should all be aware of so we can identify signs if and when presented.

Driver Education

Many schools offer driver education classes either during the school year or over the summer. We strongly recommend that your teen participate in this program if offered. You may also be able to find an independent driving school locally that will provide one on one training with your teen. If either of those resources are an option, training from a parent or guardian can work.

As a parent, you can have a positive impact through knowledge of the New York State Graduated Driver License (GDL) law. You can contribute to the driving safety of your teen if you:

  • Accurately certify that your teen has had the required hours of practice driving with you as required by the GDL law. Before your teen can take the road test, they must complete at least 50 hours of practice driving, with at least 15 hours at night (after sunset) with a parent, guardian or driving instructor. The parent, guardian or instructor must certify the supervised practice driving on a Certification of Supervised Driving (MV-262). Form MV-262 must be given to the DMV license examiner the day your teen takes their road test.
  • Sign a parent and teen driving contract. Available for immediate download our FREE parent-teen driving contract - we have found in our years of experience by having teens simply sign this piece of paper they hold themselves accountable. It gives you both a chance to sit down and discuss the rules. What is and what is not acceptable.
  • Enroll in the TEENS (Teen Electronic Event Notification Service) program. Parental enrollment in TEENS is voluntary, and there is no fee. There are three ways for parents to enroll in the program:
    1. Enroll in TEENS online through MyDMV, the new NYS DMV customer interface.
    2. Complete the form MV-TEENS (Teen Electronic Event Notification Service (TEENS) Enrollment and Consent) and submit the form to the DMV.
    3. Enroll in TEENS when an eligible young driver applies for their learner permit at any local DMV office with their parent or guardian.
  • Know when you must withdraw your consent of driving privileges if your teenager is not ready for the responsibility of driving. Regardless of the reason, you can withdraw your consent for driving privileges if your teen is: under age 18, and has a driver license with a Class designation that includes the letter "J" (junior), for example "DJ" or "MJ".

We also encourage all of our youthful drivers to watch the video available from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. It is a 16 min free video: Young Drivers: The High Risk Years.

New York 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 parents 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 New York 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 policy holder in the range of thousands of dollars.

  • Auto insurance follows the vehicle - not the driver. If your vehicle is insured, there will be coverage no matter the driver. (As long as they have permission).
  • Any licensed driver who lives with you should be listed as a driver on your auto policy - even if they have their own vehicle and insurance. If you don't and they borrow your vehicle and get in an accident, even backing up out of the driveway - the insurance company could decide to go back to the inception date of the policy and add them - which may result in a dramatic increase in premium depending on the age and driving record.
  • An accident or claim on your insurance policy stays on your insurance record for five years and is surchargeable for up to 3 years.
  • A teen can have their own insurance policy, in their own name, even if just permitted-as young as 16. This will teach financial responsibility and help to build and insurance and credit history and will not have a negative impact on your insurance.
  • There are discounts available on most auto policies for driver's education, good student, defensive driving and safe driving within the household (no claims or accidents in last 3-5years). Contact your insurance agent to find out more information.

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 also have to think about the impact the car will have on your auto insurance. Teens are inexperienced operators. Things that may seem like common sense to us may not be true for a teen or inexperienced operator.

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.

There are discounts available on most auto policies for driver's education, good student, defensive driving and safe driving within the household (no claims or accidents in last 3-5years).

Let us assist you in making a good choice for your teen. Contact Tanner Insurance Agency and one of our agents can help you make the right decision when buying that first car for your teenager.

Statistic sources: (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. "Traffic Safety Facts 2011: Young Drivers". DOT 811 744. Washington DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2012) - See more at: ??(Hingson, 2001) Full cite: Hingson, Ralph, et al. "Age of Drinking Onset, Driving After Drinking, and Involvement in Alcohol-Related Motor Vehicle Crashes." DOT HS 809 188. Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, January 2001. - See more at: for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Alcohol-Related Disease Impact (ARDI). Atlanta, GA: CDC. - See more at: data query, 2013.(Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. "Results from the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings." September 2011.) - See more at: of Medicine, 2003) Full cite: Institute of Medicine National Research Council of the National Academies. Bonnie, Richard J. and Mary Ellen O'Connell, eds. "Reducing Underage Drinking: A Collective Responsibility". Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2003. - See more at:, L. D., O'Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., & Schulenberg, J. E. (2011). Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use, 1975-2011. Volume I: Secondary school students (NIH Publication No. 10-7584). Bethesda, MD: National Institute on Drug Abuse, 734 pp. - See more at:, Lawrence, et al. "The Economic Impact of Motor Vehicle Crashes 2000." Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2002. NHTSA FARS data, 2011.National Highway Traffic Safety Administration FARS data, 2013.- See more at: