The Key to Teen Driver Safety
It's all about practice
Much like playing a sport or an instrument, learning a complex skill requires many hours of practice. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), teen drivers have a greater chance of crashing because they are inexperienced. It is important that new teen drivers practice driving as much as possible in order to build their skills and reduce their risk of being in an accident.
The key is to teach safe driving
Help your teen build safe driving skills:
- Enroll your teen in a driving school that will lay the foundation for safe driving skills.
- Allow your teen to practice frequently.
- Expose your new driver to conditions that they will experience when they begin driving alone — including driving during inclement weather, at night, and through different terrain.
- As a passenger, you can help them navigate through situations safely and evaluate their skills to determine whether they are ready to drive on their own.
Safe driving tips for parents and teens
In order to drive each point home, we suggest you review the following safe driving tips with your teen:
- Buckle up – In addition to obeying the law, adults should wear their seatbelts to set a good example for new teen drivers.
- Avoid distractions – Distraction is a leading cause of teen driver crashes. Teens often believe they are invincible, and are more likely to take risks while driving, such as texting or checking social media apps. Teach your teen to put the phone away.
- Don't speed – Teens may exercise poor judgment and may unintentionally or intentionally speed.
- Limit nighttime driving – Graduated driver licensing laws limit nighttime driving. As a parent or guardian, it is recommended that you gradually introduce your teen to driving at night. Forty percent of all teen driver-related deaths occur between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m.
- Limit passengers – Two or more peer passengers more than triples a teen's risk for a crash. Studies show that teen drivers who have passengers in the car are more likely to drive distracted and take risks, such as speeding or not wearing a seatbelt.
- Drive the right car – Often parents buy an inexpensive used car, but sometimes these lack important safety features. Research reliable sources online to review a car's safety ratings.
- Set ground rules – Establish a safe driving contract with your teen — researchers suggest that this method is most effective when it includes incentives and consequences, such as confiscating the keys.
Allowing your teen to drive can be daunting. However, if you model safe driving habits and allow them to practice and reinforce the rules of the road, your teen will reduce their risk of being involved in a crash.
NJM's Teen Driver Safety Program
In October 2018, NJM partnered with the Philadelphia 76ers to expand its nationally recognized, award-winning Teen Driver Safety Program to Pennsylvania high schools. The launch event featured NJM's first "Share the Keys" presentation in the state and encouraged students to take the "Just Drive" Pledge to reduce distracted driving. Read more about the partnership here.
About NJM Insurance Group's Commitment to Safety
NJM is a leader in personal and commercial auto, homeowners, and workers' compensation insurance. Founded more than a century ago, we have earned a reputation for service, integrity, and financial stewardship. NJM's enduring commitment to safety can be traced back to our earliest days — with a focus that has expanded from improving conditions in manufacturing facilities to helping keep customers safe on the roads and at home.
- Consumer Reports. 10 Tips for Teen Drivers and Their Parents. consumerreports.org.
- Foundation for Advanced Alcohol Responsibility. Drunk Driving Fatalities. responsibility.org.
- Insurance Information Institute (III). Safety Tips for Teen Drivers. iii.org.
- National Safety Council (NSC). Teen Driving. nsc.org.
- Safe Kids Worldwide. safekids.org.
- Share the Keys. sharethekeys.com.
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. nhtsa.gov.
- New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety. nj.gov/oag/hts.
- Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia | Research Institute. teendriversource.org.