In any discussion about insuring teens and college students, the topic isn’t complete without delving into distraction. That’s because distracted driving takes a heavy toll on both age groups—society’s youngest drivers. Ohio Mutual Insurance Group (OMIG) puts some numbers to the threat, citing 77% of young adults surveyed as feeling pretty confident that they can safely text and drive. Sadly, the results of such overconfidence are disastrous. Since texting while driving makes accidents 23x more likely, it’s been found that teens’ propensity to engage in this distractedly dangerous behavior is causing approximately 1.3 million accidents, and claiming 11 young lives every day. In fact the top killer of teens from 16-19 years of age is a fatal car crash. Those are some sobering figures indeed.
The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) defines distracted driving as “any activity that diverts attention from driving.” This includes taking phone calls, texting, surfing the web, eating, drinking, chatting with passengers, fiddling with the stereo or GPS, and the list goes on. Adding needless distractions—especially for an inexperienced driver—can be a recipe for disaster. But short of taking back the keys, how can teens and their parents minimize the risk? The answer lies in education, and some pretty nifty advances in technology. Both Safeco and MAPFRE insurance companies have developed plug-in devices that track a driver’s habits, from stellar to not so hot. And the advantages are real. While your teen could balk at the idea, these devices really just provide an opportunity to prove your child’s safe driving claims. The testing period is relatively short, and if all goes well, results can add up to some major savings. If a teen’s driving is all it should be, parents can save anywhere from 15-30% on insurance premiums. Beyond plug-in devices, Cellcontrol strives to end distracted driving at its source, putting a driver’s cell phone in “safe mode” and eliminating a major source of distraction. Partnering with OMIG, Cellcontrol hopes to expand their reach of safety.
Texder's Distracted Driving Crusade—an accountability-based, interactive campaign—is yet another resource that has helped students to understand the dangers of distracted drivingand pledge to avoid it. Combine the above with teen-focused policies, and you’ll have a powerhouse of protection for your favorite student, whether they’re still at home or studying away at college.
Available resources can help you to stop distracted driving before it starts, and your family insurance agent is totally behind that. In fact, your agent is a key player in the fight against distracted driving. Get in touch and learn how you can have plenty of rewards without taking risks.