Monday, August 7, 2017

Lots of Bad Things Can Happen When You Let Another Teen Borrow Your Car

Teens are considered high-risk drivers for numerous reasons. They’re notoriously poor drivers due to the fact that they don’t have much experience on the road, are much more likely to be involved in an accident because of overconfidence about their driving skills or distractions, and tend to display elevated emotions when under pressure. And driving can be a pressure-packed activity!

So, it’s never a good idea to let a teen “borrow” your car, especially if you’re a teenager yourself. Most insurance policies typically cover the vehicle for any bodily injury or property damage ONLY if it’s being driven by the registered owner or if it’s being driven with the permission of the registered owner. Parents -- not teens -- are most often the registered owners, so when teens lend cars to teens there might be no insurance coverage in that situation.

To make matters worse, if a teen is a passenger in the car their parents own, they themselves may not have coverage if involved in an accident, since the teen driving the car is not on the policy!

Another reason to not lend the car to a teenager is that passengers get hurt, too, in many cases worse than drivers. So, letting another teen who may not have as much experience as you drive you around is taking a big chance. Why do they want to borrow your car? Maybe they don't have one or it’s been damaged in an accident they caused? If they decide to “show off” or drive recklessly, you are the one who could pay the price, either with your life or a damaged vehicle.

Here are some important tips to consider:

  • Don’t ride with anyone again if you didn’t like their driving the first time• Wear a seat belt, even if no one else does.
  • Don’t distract the driver, and don’t encourage speed, loud music or goofing around in the car.
  • Avoid alcohol or drugs in the car, even as a passenger. It only increases distractions, noise and bad behavior.

These are all difficult things for teenagers to adhere to, especially in a group with its typical peer pressure to conform. It means being responsible and sensible. These are not qualities that most teens deem “cool”. But, it’s the right thing to do. The smart thing to do.

You may even find out that other passengers felt the same way, but were afraid to say so.

Progressive Insurance information contributed to this blog.