August 3, 2010

How Reckless Driving Drives Up Rates For Teens

If you have a teenage driver, you probably have a lot on your mind; but getting a good auto insurance quote for your teen shouldn’t be one of them. Traditionally auto insurance quotes for teenagers are quite high due to many risk factors. Some parents think adding a teen to their own policy may be less expensive; or perhaps, getting the teen their own policy may be less expensive. Rates depend on the insurance company, which is one reason you should shop around for good auto insurance quotes.

There are several reasons why reckless driving drives up rates for teens. Many auto insurers use statistics to formulate their auto insurance quotes for younger drivers, and statistics are not in favor of young drivers. Statistics demonstrate that drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 are the most likely age group to be in a vehicular accident. The cost of injuries in accidents is also high for teen drivers. Estimates state young drivers may account for as much as 30 percent of the cost of injuries to men, and 28 percent of the cost of injuries for women. Per mile, teenager drivers are four times more likely to be in an accident than any other age group.

Higher levels of risk taking behavior may account for why teenagers tend to be in more accidents than other age groups. Whether you call this poor judgment or reckless driving, the fact is auto insurance companies see it as risky behavior—behavior that may result in more cost and money for them. Many teenagers have yet to develop the ability to assess risky situations properly, usually downplaying the amount of risk to themselves and others, even in a driving situation. Therefore, a teenager is likelier to make a poor judgment call that results in an accident such as going ahead and making a left-hand turn in front of an oncoming car. This kind of poor judgment results in more accidents than other groups of drivers.

Teen drivers are also less likely to engage in safety measures compare with other age groups, which also contributes to them being seen as reckless drivers. Auto insurance quotes take this into account in their estimation of insurance rates. Teen drivers are less likely to use seat belts, for instance, causing a higher rate of injury when they are in accidents. This can drive the rate of an auto insurance quote up dramatically.

Your teenage driver can increase auto insurance prices up for the whole family. Consider researching getting your teenager their own policy in order to save on insurance, and remember that comparing many different quotes can save you money.