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Teen Driving Tips

Dear Teens,
 
Congratulations! You’ve just gained (or are about to gain) the power to drive on your own. It’s a wonderful new chapter in your life! But remember, “With great power comes great responsibility.”1 When you get behind the wheel, you become responsible for your safety, the safety of your passengers, and the safety of those you encounter on the road. Driving recklessly can seriously injure or even kill, so the choices you make on and off the road really do matter.
 
Statistically speaking, your first six months on the road unsupervised are the most dangerous2. Sometimes accidents happen because you don’t yet know any better as a driver. Other times accidents happen because of distractions or poor decision making made either by yourself or another driver. Our hope at National General Insurance is to help equip you to become safe drivers so that you don’t end up hurting yourself or others.

Here are some driving tips that will keep you safe on the road:

Wear Your Seatbelt

Buckle Up

Before you even leave your parking space or driveway, make sure you and all of your passengers are buckled. It can mean the difference between life and death. In 2016 alone, seatbelt use saved an estimated 14,668 lives3.
Put Away Your Cell Phone

Put Away Your Phone

Don’t text and drive. Texting makes you 23 times likelier to crash4. Looking down for even a few seconds to check your phone while driving at 55 mph is like driving the length of a football field blind. Likewise, talking on a handheld phone will put you at a higher risk: You’ll be four times likelier to crash5; that is why we suggest you turn off your phone completely when you get in the car, so that you won’t be tempted to check it for an update or incoming call.
No Speeding

Obey the Speed Limit

Speeding is a major contributor to fatal teen accidents. Speeding was the main factor in about 31% of all traffic fatalities from 2005 to 2014, according to a study done by National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)6. But that’s not the only reason not to speed. If you get caught speeding, you could end up paying a steep fine, not to mention your insurance premiums may increase. The driving record you start now will also influence the auto insurance rates you will get in the future. So driving safely now will actually save you money in the future.
Be Careful In Bad Weather

Be More Careful in Inclement Weather

When it’s raining or snowing, slow down. You don’t want to hydroplane in the rain or skid on ice at high speeds. Also, keep your headlights on, which will increase your visibility to other drivers and may help you see the road and any obstacles in front of you.
Don't Drive When Sleepy

Don’t Drive Impaired

Every day, 29 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver7 - that’s one death every 50 minutes! If you are high, drunk, or extremely tired, just don’t drive. It’s not worth your life or another’s life.

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Although there is no substitute for the driving wisdom you gain from experience, applying our teen driving tip will help you become a better, safer driver overall.
Print Tips

 
1 Cf. S. Lee and S. Ditko, Amazing Fantasy No. 15: “Spider- Man,” p. 13 (1962)
 
2 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. (2018). https://www.iihs.org/topics/fatality-statistics/detail/teenagers
 
3 National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). (2017). https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/seat-belts
 
4 Olson, R.L., R.J. Hanowski, J.S. Hickman, and J. Bocanegra. 2009. Driver Distraction in Commercial Vehicle Operation. Center for Truck and Bus Safety.
Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. Blacksburg, VA. www.distraction.gov/research/PDF-Files/Driver-Distraction-Commercial-Vehicle-Operations.pdf
 
5 Hosking, S., K. Young, and M. Regan. 2006. The Effects of Text Messaging on Young Novice Driver Performance. Monasah University Accident Research Centre.
Victoria, Australia. www.distraction.gov/research/PDF-Files/Effects-of-Text-Messaging.pdf
 
6 Walker, A. (2017) Curbed. “U.S. traffic death increase caused by speeding, says new study.”
https://www.curbed.com/2017/7/28/16051780/us-traffic-death-speeding-statistics-speeding
 
7 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Traffic Safety Facts 2016 data: alcohol-impaired driving. U.S. Department of Transportation, Washington, DC; 2017
Available at: https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812450