Teen Driver Safety.

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1 This brochure is informational only and is neither an offer to insure nor a contract of insurance. It is intended to provide a brief, general description of our New Auto Program. Please note that only the policy contains the actual coverages, definitions, deductibles, limits, conditions, limitations, exclusions and other provisions. BR-273 (11/05) Building Stronger Communities SM Teen Driver Safety National Farmers Union Property and Casualty Company 5619 DTC Parkway, Suite 300 Greenwood Village, CO

2 Graduated Licensing Can Help Teenagers perceive a driver s license as a ticket to freedom. It s momentous for parents, too. Though they often are aware of 16-year-olds high crash risks, they re relieved not to have to chauffeur their children around anymore. But the price is steep. Crashes are the leading cause of death among American teens, accounting for more than one third of all deaths of 16-to 18-year-olds. An effective way to reduce this toll is graduated licensing. Driving privileges are phased in so that beginners initial experience is with lower risk situations. The restrictions gradually are lifted, so teenagers are more experienced and mature when they get their full, unrestricted licenses. Graduated systems that are well designed restrict night driving, limit teen passengers, establish zero tolerance for alcohol, and require a specified amount of supervised practice during the initial phase. Graduated licensing laws have reduced teenagers crash rates in the United States, Canada and New Zealand, but not all states have such laws. Even without a state law, parents can establish rules based on the graduated model. What Parents Of Teenagers Can Do When parents understand the risk factors involved in letting 16-year-olds get behind the wheel, they can act to improve the situation for their children. For more information, your agent has an excellent guidebook available, Safe Young Drivers/a Guide for Parents and Teens by Phil Berardelli ($15). You can also order the book online at or by calling It may also be special ordered from any bookstore. This book contains lots of diagrams illustrating helpful defensive driving tips and how to s. Contents Know The Facts About Teen Driving 2 Understanding The Rules Of The Road 3 Avoiding Road Rage 4 What Parents Can Do Setting Guidlines With Your Teen 5 Developing A Safe Driver 6 Parents Checklist 7 Driving With Your Teen 8 Driving Skills Checklist 9 Selecting Insurance Coverages 10 Frequently Asked Questions 11 Graduated Licensing Can Help 12 We at Farmers Union Insurance care about our policyholders and want to make sure parents and teens take a few moments to read this brochure together and complete the attached contract. Page

3 Know The Facts About Teen Driving Newly licensed 16-year-olds are the most ill-prepared drivers on the road. They often believe risky driving in familiar situations is not dangerous or that they can cope with any unexpected developments. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Fatality Facts 2006: 5,156 teenagers ages died in motor vehicle crashes 62% of teenager passenger deaths occurred in vehicles driven by another teenager 54% of teenager motor vehicle crash deaths occurred on Friday, Saturday or Sunday 34% of teenager motor vehicle deaths occurred between 6 p.m. and midnight 18% of fatally injured teen drivers, ages had blood alcohol concentrations at or above 0.08% Seat belt use reduces the risk of serious or fatal injury to front seat passengers by up to 50% Frequently Asked Questions Q. Where is the best place to practice driving at night? A. In the beginning, practice driving on routes that are familiar to the teen. Make sure they can handle these routes before you introduce new routes with unfamiliar surroundings. Q. How many hours should I drive with my teen? A. Safety experts recommend that new drivers receive at least 50 hours of supervised driving before they become licensed. Keep in mind that state laws may vary. If your teen still isn t comfortable driving after meeting your state s driving requirements, continue working together. Behind the wheel training is critical to giving new drivers the experience they need to become better drivers. Q. What are the most common mistakes that new teen drivers make? A. They don t slow down in complex situations, they tend to expect the best rather than the worst ( no defensive driving), and they don t look around often enough (poor roadway scanning techniques). Q. Is it important that a teen receives practice driving on an expressway? A. Yes, but he or she should start on slower roads and work up to highway driving. Teens should practice entering an expressway during non-peak hours before attempting to merge into rush hour traffic. Check with your teen s driver education instructor to determine when your teen is ready. Q. How can we reduce our insurance costs with a teenage driver on our policy? A. People who have clean driving records and drive safer cars have a greater chance of reducing their auto insurance costs. Attending an accredited driver training/education course is one method of teaching your teen safe driving skills and the rules of the road. You also can raise your deductible limits and drop certain coverages, such as collision coverage for older cars with low cash values. It may also be less expensive to have your teen drive one of the family cars rather than buying them their own car. Finally, check to see if you can take advantage of multi-car, good student, safe driver and other available discounts. Page Page 11

4 Selecting Insurance Coverages What type of insurance coverage (financial protection) for each type of loss situation? Here s a general description: Type of Coverage Bodily Injury Liability Coverage Property Damage Liability Coverage Medical Payments Coverage Uninsured Motorists Insurance Underinsured Motorists Insurance Collision Coverage Comprehensive Coverage Description of Loss Helps protect a covered driver who is legally liable in a covered accident which results in injury or death to others. Helps protect a covered driver who is legally liable in a covered accident in which another person s property is damaged. Provides coverage if you, covered family members, or your covered passengers receive medical treatment, services, or products for bodily injury caused by a covered accident. Helps protect you, covered family members and your covered passengers who are injured or killed in a covered accident involving a legally liable uninsured driver. (Uninsured Motorists Coverage for property damage is also available in certain states). Helps protect you, covered family members and your covered passengers who are injured or killed in a covered accident involving a legally liable underinsured driver. Provides coverage (less your deductible) for loss to an insured auto due to a covered collision with another vehicle or object. Provides coverage (less your deductible) if your car is stolen or damaged due to a covered non-collision loss, such as falling objects, fire or vandalism. Insurance coverages and discounts provided by your insurance company are always subject to the terms and conditions of your specific policy as well as state statutes and regulations. Understanding The Rules Of The Road Often lack of experience behind the wheel, not age, is what puts teens at greater risk of being involved or dying in a car accident. The more you practice driving, the better you ll be at handling situations on the roads. Here are some ways to help beat the odds: Never let friends drive your car. You could jeopardize your insurance by letting others drive your vehicle. If they have an accident, you could lose money, car privileges, a friendship - even your life. Always wear your seat belt. Buckle up for safety on every trip. If your state has a mandatory seat belt law, you could get a ticket for not wearing one. Know your vehicle. Use features that make it easier and safer for you to operate your vehicle, such as sun visors, door locks and parking brakes. Stay alert and be a defensive driver. Tailgating is a stupid reason to get involved in an accident. Try to keep four seconds of following distance between your car and the vehicle in front of you. Drive sober. Not only are alcohol and drugs illegal, they slow your reactions and distort reality. In fact, they may make you think you re an awesome driver when really you re out of control. Cell phone usage. When you need to use a cell phone, pull safely off the road. Remember, when you are behind the wheel of a car your focus should be on defensive driving, not making phone calls. Chill. Don t get stressed out. Follow traffic safety rules and don t drive faster than you can handle. Watch your speed! Concentrate on driving. Don t blast music, talk on the phone, eat, study, or put on makeup while you re driving! Be careful when driving friends. Driving your friends is a big responsibility. Don t take on that responsibility until you re ready. Use your rear-view mirror. Check traffic before and after you brake, every time. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Page Page 3

5 Avoiding Road Rage Every year, motorists get involved in incidents of violence or hostility including screaming obscenities, aggressive tailgating, shaking fists and even using weapons. This type of rage seems to be the result of stress building up and then exploding when the person is behind the wheel. Here are some ways to avoid being a target: Don t make obscene gestures, even if someone makes them at you. Use your horn only when necessary. Driving Skills Checklist Check off the skills your teen has performed several times successfully and confidently. When all the items are checked off, your teen may be ready to get a license. Basic Driving Skills rpre-driving checks and adjustments rstarting, moving and stopping smoothly Driving Conditions rdriving in bright sun rdriving at night Don t switch lanes without signaling. Don t take up more than one parking space. Unless you are disabled, don t park in a space reserved for the disabled. Make sure your door doesn t hit the car parked next to you. Never tailgate. If you are driving slowly, pull over and allow traffic to pass. Avoid stopping in the road to talk to your friends. Turn down your radio so you don t distract and annoy others in neighboring cars. Here are some ways to tame your own road rage: Remember that driving is not a competitive sport. Help other drivers by using your signal when turning, and stay alert to other drivers by checking your rear-view mirror regularly. Allow plenty of time for each trip, and recognize that getting angry won t clear up a traffic jam. Realize that it s not your job to change others bad habits. You can only control your own attitude. Avoid conflict. If another driver challenges you, take a deep breath and safely get out of the way. rmaking accurate left turns ryielding the right-of-way rbacking up Traffic Skills rchanging lanes rnavigating safely behind other vehicles rrecognizing danger signs/conditions rcommunicating with other drivers radjusting speed and position rpassing on highways rdriving in rain or snow rdriving in fog rdriving in traffic Turning rthree-point turns rturning around by pulling into a driveway rturning around by backing into a driveway ru-turns Parking rperpendicular parking rangle parking rbacking into a parking space rparallel parking Page Page 9

6 Driving With Your Teen Give your teen opportunities to practice what he or she has learned in driver education, and encourage safe habits and skills. Supervised practice over an extended period of time makes teenagers better, safer drivers. That s why it s important for you to spend time in the car with your teen behind the wheel. While Planning A Driving Session Choose routes that require your teen to practice different skills. Don t just drive to and from the same place every week. This will not adequately prepare your teen to be a skilled driver. Take your teen driving under as many different conditions as possible. To become safe drivers, teenagers need practice responding to changing weather, visibility, traffic volume and road conditions. Before Starting The Car Reveiw the route you ll take, the skills you want to work on, and the goals for the lessons. See if your teen can explain how to perform the skills he or she will be practicing. Adjust the right outside mirror for your use while your teen is driving. Also, adjust the vanity mirror on the passenger sun visor so you can use it as a rear-view mirror. While Your Teen Is Driving Use a calm tone of voice. Give simple, clear directions like slow, brake and cover, meaning put your foot lightly over the brake in preparation to stop. Look at your teen s arms - if they re not relaxed, the situation may be too hard to handle, or he or she may be getting tired. Ask your teen to talk about what he or she sees and is planning to do while driving. This makes it easier for you to know if your teen is observing and thinking ahead like a good driver. If Your Teen Does Something Wrong Ask him or her safely to move the car off the road and then discuss the mistakes calmly. After Practicing Go over the session together. Give your teen a chance to point out his or her mistakes before you do. Give positive feedback for what he or she did correctly. Also mention how your teen can improve. What Parents Can Do Setting Guidelines With Your Teen Supervise Driving Lots of supervised driving experience is the key here. It s crucial that beginners get as much wheel time as possible before going solo. Even if your teenager is enrolled in driver education, take an active role and supervise practice driving in a wide variety of situations spread over at least six months. Give learners time to work up to challenges like driving in heavy traffic or on the freeway. Continue these sessions even after your teen graduates to a restricted or full license. Restrict Night Driving Outings at night tend to be recreational. In these circumstances, even teens who usually follow all the rules can be easily distracted or encouraged to take risks. Restrict Passengers Young drivers often want to transport their friends, but won t drive the same way with their peers in the vehicle as when you re present. Teen passengers in a vehicle can distract a beginning driver and lead to greater risk-taking. Teen passengers at night are particularly lethal. The best policy is to restrict teen passengers, especially multiple teens, all the time. Require Safety Belt Use Belt use when you are in the car doesn t assure belts will be used all the time, especially when your young driver is out with peers. Insist on safety belts at all times. Prohibit Driving After Drinking Make it clear that it s illegal and highly dangerous to drive after drinking alcohol or using any other drug. Even small amounts of alcohol are impairing. Choose Vehicles for Safety, Not Image First of all, don t give a 16-year-old a car for at least a year. When you do, select vehicles that will reduce their chances of a crash and offer protection in case they do crash. Avoid cars with performance images that might encourage speeding. Also avoid trucks and SUVs the smaller ones, especially, are more prone to roll over. Establish and Enforce a House Curfew Find out from the police if your town has a curfew for minors. If not, set your own curfew. Set Geographic Driving Limits If your teen plans to travel outside your geographic area, require that he or she request special permission. Page Page 5

7 Developing A Safe Driver Teenagers perceive a driver s license as a ticket to freedom. It s momentous for parents too, who are relieved not to have to chauffeur their youngsters around anymore. But the price is steep. Crashes are the leading cause of death among American teens. Driving privileges should be phased in so that beginners initial experience is with lower risk situations. As your teen driver becomes more experienced and mature, restrictions can gradually be lifted. Parents, once your teen is licensed, your job is far from over. That s when it s time to kick into surveillance mode. Keep your eyes peeled and your ears open. What you see and hear and how you respond to it could save your child s life. Setting a good example when you drive. It is much more likely that your teen will drive calmly and courteously, use a seat belt, pull safely off the road to use the cell phone, and obey the speed limit if you do. Working with your teen s driver education instructor. Find out how your teenager is performing in class and which skills he or she needs to work on. Ask for a copy of the driver education curriculum. Providing a safe car to practice in. Take your teen along for a lesson in car maintenance if your car needs a tune-up. This is a good time to talk about the costs of maintaining and insuring a car, and whether or not your teen needs to contribute. Parents Checklist Know your child s traveling companions and monitor your child s comings and goings. Talk to your teen driver frequently about the risks and inherent dangers of operating a motor vehicle with anything less than 100 percent concentration. Insist your teen not operate a car after drinking and refuese to ride with a driver who has been drinking-even a little bit. Make yourself available for emergency pick-ups. Maintain a safe vehicle for your teen driver. Periodically inspect the tires, brakes, belts and hoses and other systems that can affect the safety or dependability of the vehicle. Be a passenger with your teen. Frequent ride-alongs are the best way to keep tabs on a teen driver s progress. Bad habits can crop up any time but are especially prevalent in the beginning years of driving. As much as you may want to, it s best not to overreact or criticize your teen s driving while on the road. Wait until you get home. Studies show that an emotionally charged conversation reduces attention span and increases distraction. If your young driver does something wrong, make a mental note to discuss it when you get home. Have your teen share costs. Driving is a privilege, not a right, so consider having your child share in the cost of operating the vehicle. This teaches responsibility and also gives your teen a dawning realization that nothing is free. It may also translate into better driving skills. Meeting with your teen and your insurance agent to discuss the costs and responsibilities of driving a car. Research shows that teens who pay for a portion of the maintenance and insurance of the family car are more likely to be safe drivers. Taking your teen to get a license only when you both agree the time is right. Some teens may not be ready for a license even though they are eligible. You need to decide when your teen has demonstrated the skills and attitude to be able to drive without an adult. Page Page 7

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