COLUMBUS — If you are a parent of a teenage driver, your child’s safety is your first concern. Though you cannot always be by their side, you can take steps to help keep them safe behind the wheel. Educating yourself and your teen driver about the risks of unsafe driving can save lives and money.
“Reminding young drivers about the dangers of distracted driving is so important,” Gov. Mike DeWine said. “Having rules limiting the number of passengers in the car and reminding teens to keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel are other easy ways to help increase the safety of young drivers.”
“Today’s world presents many distractions while driving and we must talk to teens about the dangers and consequences of unsafe and distracted driving,” Ohio Department of Insurance Director Jillian Froment said. “I urge parents to establish rules that will help keep their teen drivers and those around them safe while on the road.”
Froment encourages parents and their teens to create a teen driver contract using the online template at www.insureuonline.org/teen_driver_certificate.htm. A contract can help teen drivers avoid common mistakes and increased insurance rates, while defining the consequences associated with driving privileges.
Froment said there are actionable steps parents can take to keep their teen drivers safe and to save money on insurance coverage.
She shared the following insights:
- Research suggests parents who set rules cut accident risk in half.
- Set a driving curfew. More than 40 percent of teen auto deaths occur between the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.
- The relative risk of a fatal crash increases as the number of passengers increases.
- Texting or talking on a cell phone can double the likelihood of an accident.
Keep costs down
- Conduct an insurance review with an agent to determine options for insuring your teen driver. Adding a teen driver to your auto insurance policy can be costly.
- The type of vehicle a teen driver uses as well as driving violations can impact the cost of insurance.
- Many companies grant discounts to drivers whose records have been clean for three or more years.
- Some companies offer discounts if your teen completes a defensive driving course and upholds a good grade-point average.
- Ask your insurance company about an “accident forgiveness” clause that guarantees premiums will not increase after one minor accident.
- Install a smartphone application that limits or prevents texting and driving.
Ohioans with insurance questions can call the Ohio Department of Insurance consumer hotline at 1-800-686-1526 and visit insurance.ohio.gov for insurance information.