Thursday, June 25, 2009

Teen Crashes Cost $34 Billion Per Year

A study released by the American Auto Association (AAA) estimates that crashes involving drivers 15-17 years of age accounted for over $34 billion in 2006 alone.

The study stated that these teen drivers were involved in nearly a million crashes in 2006, injuring 406,427 people and killing 2,541. Fatality costs were estimated to cost $3.841 million in lost wages, lawsuits, emergency response crew wages, and medical expenses while injury accidents post an average of $50,512 per incident.

Washington State requires liability limits of at least $25,000/$50,000 for bodily injury and $10,000 for property damage. If you cause an accident that exceeds these limits you must pay the difference out of pocket.

With a newly licensed teen driver, we strongly suggest raising your limits...and maybe consider an umbrella policy which provides extra coverage to your home and auto in a single limit of insurance; usually $1 million or $2 million is common but some companies offer a limit of $5 million or more. Check back next week for more information on umbrella policies!

Thank you to

Thursday, June 11, 2009

New York Tightens Teen Driving Laws

Albany, New York is in the process of enacting new teen driving laws to bring down teen driver and passenger fatalities.

Currently, teens are able to get their license within the first 6 months of their permit with only 20 hours required of parent observation. The new bill raises that to 6 months of permit driving until even being able to schedule the road test and 50 hours or observed driving with 15 of those being night driving.

The bill would ban the use of electronic devices, handheld or other, and reduce the number of non-family drivers to one until age 21.

The bill also closes loopholes where teens were able to plea-bargain driving offenses to reduce them to non-moving violations, and thus avoiding points being added to their driving record. The only drawback to this is many parents pay for the driver's insurance so maybe having some court appointed volunteer work would actually be more appropriate.

One place the bill may falter, however, is drivers will be able to get their full license at age 17 whereas the federal bill restricts a full license until age 18.

36% of teen deaths are caused by motor vehicle accidents, and teen drivers are twice as likely to die in crashes as are adult drivers, studies show.

Thank you to Buffalo News.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Teen Crashes: Highest on Saturday and Sunday Night

It's important to educate yourself-- as a parent and a teen driver. Below are 2 tables of information. Look them over carefully and you'll notice 2 things. Crash rates for teen drivers are most risky on Saturday and Sunday nights. Does this come as a surprise to you? Maybe not. But the awareness alone is imporant.

Share this with your teen driver. Do they notice a difference in the way they drive on weekends? Night driving vs. day driving, in general? Are they driving friends? Are they excited to go to a party or event? What is it about night and weekend driving for teens?

Teenage motor vehicle crash deaths by day of week, 2007
Day of WeekDeaths%
*Total includes other and/or unknowns

Teenage motor vehicle crash deaths by time of day, 2007
Time of DayDeaths%
*Total includes other and/or unknowns