Teen Drivers

What You Should Know About:

Driver education and graduated licensing for teen drivers

Graduated Drivers License (GDL) Laws are improving safety - expanding driving privileges as teen drivers gain needed experience

Three things you should know:

  1. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among 15- to 20-year-olds. Poor choices, including impaired driving and distracted driving, and lack of driving experience are the two main factors leading to the high crash rates among teens.
  2. Many states have successfully reduced teen accident rates with graduated drivers license (GDL) programs and other laws.
  3. Involve your teen in the insurance-buying process so they can learn about how insurance works and about the serious and costly consequences of driving infractions and accidents.

A driver’s license is life-changing for most teen drivers – and for their parents, too. For many teenagers, a driver’s license is seen as an achievement, a ticket to greater independence and a rite of passage. And for parents, having another licensed driver in the household can free them from “taxi driver” duties. But for everyone in the household, it’s critical to remember that the privilege of driving comes with great responsibility.

Teens are typically categorized by insurers as high-risk drivers. The reasons why are simple, but alarming: teenagers have the highest auto crash and death rates of any group of drivers. Other than supervised driving in training classes or with parents, teens have very little experience behind the wheel. Add to this inexperience some impulsive behaviors, like driving too fast, driving impaired or driving while distracted by electronics or passengers, and you get higher incidences of traffic tickets, crashes and injuries. Facing those higher risks, insurers charge higher rates for teen drivers than for older, more experienced drivers.

The highway can be a dangerous environment. Fast-moving vehicles, unsafe drivers, blind spots and road and weather conditions all present serious challenges for drivers of all ages. By following a few simple tips, you and your teen can drive more safely and better protect yourself and your passengers from injury.

Each of the links here will take you to safety tips and information specifically for young drivers and their parents. Check them out before you or your teen get on the road.

Resources, Issues & Tips:

Graduated Drivers License (GDL)

Parents Hold the Key

Cell Phones & Distracted Driving

Additional Resources:

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Insurance Information Institute

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

U.S. Department of Transportation

Washington Traffic Safety Commission

Washington Department of Transportation

Oregon Department of Transportation

Idaho Department of Transportation

Teen Drivers