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The Most Dangerous Situation for Teen Drivers Isn’t What You Think

October 8, 2019

teen driver safetyWhen is driving a car most dangerous for teens? You would think that here in the Mohawk Valley it would be during icy winter conditions. Or during a snow or sleet storm. Maybe when an inexperienced teen driver is navigating a place unfamiliar to them.

These answers all make sense, but they’re not the most dangerous condition a teen faces when it comes to a car. The most dangerous time for a teen driver is when there are teen passengers in the car with no licensed adult present.

In fact, according to the New York State Department of Health, most teens killed in crashes were riding in vehicles driven by another teen. Teens are four to five times more likely to crash when driving at night with passengers than teens driving alone during the day. The upshot: even having only one teen passenger in the car increases the risk of a crash.

Now that you know that, think back to your own teen years. Remember the thrill of having the guys or gals loaded into your parents’ car? You drive the crew around town, laughing, showing off. For a lot of us, that was how it was. Why would your kids be any different?

Your Teen Passenger Safety Checklist

In light of the dangers of teens driving with teens, we thought it might be a good idea to list some cautions that you can relay to your kids by having them read this post. They’ll probably scoff at it, but it may help them think twice about getting themselves into a tough situation.

So, kids, before getting into the car with a friend or classmate, consider these:

  • Has this person had a driver’s license for less than six months?
  • Has the driver ever had a traffic ticket or been in a crash?
  • Does the driver use a cell phone or play loud music when driving?
  • Does the driver speed, follow other cars too closely, or drive in other reckless ways?
  • Is the driver under the influence of alcohol or other drugs?
  • Does the driver try to impress others through their driving?
  • Does the driver and/or his/her passengers ride unbuckled?
  • Is the car full of teens?

What Should Parents Do to Keep Their Teen Drivers Safe?

If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” your child should think twice about getting into the car. But a word of caution. A list of questions like this will probably not be met by your child with graceful acceptance.

But as we’ve said in this article on teen driving, parents can lower the risk for teen drivers in the Mohawk Valley. We even suggested that parents be the scapegoat for their children’s good behavior. Let your kids use you as the reason they won’t get in the car with a friend. In other words, let the kids get mad at you. Or make fun of you for making them consider whether or not to get into a car based on the above questions.

Maybe even better, blame us! Tell them your insurance agency thought it would be a good idea if they read this post. It’s okay with us. We’re here to pay if accidents happen, but avoiding tragedy makes our day.

Here’s to happy and safe teen driving in your house!

Until next time,
Your SZW Team

SZW Insurance is your Utica area Trusted Choice™ independent insurance agent. Call us for a quote on insurance for your home, car, business, or life at 315.792.0000. Or request a quote here.