Ensuring Safe Teen Driving: Harnessing Technology To Manage Risk and Lower Insurance Costs
Concerned about your teen’s driving habits? You’re not alone. The thrill of newfound freedom and the impulsiveness of adolescence can lead to risky behavior on the road. The good news? Technology provides a solution. Have you heard of GPS trackers designed for teen drivers? These devices help monitor your teen’s driving behavior and keep them within set boundaries. Ready to learn how they work?
GPS trackers use a network of 31 satellites to pinpoint your vehicle’s location, accurate to within 5 meters. With real-time data, you can watch over your teen’s driving behavior right from your phone or a third-party site. These programs provide insights beyond just location, including driving speeds, sudden braking, and more. Isn’t it great to have such detailed information to coach your teen into safer driving habits? Many even send alerts if your teen strays or skips school. As an added bonus, you might even save on insurance costs!
The Real Cost of Adding a Teen to Your Car Insurance
Let’s tackle the elephant in the room – insurance cost for teen drivers. It’s no secret that it’s significantly more expensive. Estimates range widely, but you can certainly expect a substantial increase. Remember, adding your teen to your policy is cheaper than a separate one. Can you believe that separate policies can cost upwards of $2,000?
To illustrate, adding a 16-year-old girl to your policy could cost between $1,165 and $3,036 annually. However, separate policies can range from $2,453 to a whopping $6,479! Does your teen happen to be a boy? Well, that would cost even more due to their higher likelihood of risky driving behavior. But remember, adding them to your policy still saves you money in the long run.
Top 5 Teen Driving Monitoring Apps
Many car insurers offer discounts for safe driving. For this, you need a teen GPS tracker, which monitors your teen’s driving habits. These devices check daily mileage, the time of driving, sudden acceleration or braking, and more. The better the driving, the better your rates. But how about trying out some driving monitoring apps? Here are the top 5 teen driving monitoring apps according to parents:
TrueMotion Family Safe Driving
TrueMotion offers a comprehensive and user-friendly monitoring experience, and the best part is that it’s free. It includes the feature of geofencing, allowing you to set boundaries for your teen’s driving behavior. The app also allows for speed restrictions and curfews, and if any of these limits are crossed, you’ll get immediate notifications. The app tracks your teen’s driving habits and grades them on a scale of 100 points, so your teen can see their driving improvement over time. The app requires GPS capability to be enabled on your teen’s phone, and it’s available for both Android and iOS platforms.
Another free app, DriveSmart offers a more personalized experience compared to TrueMotion. It’s designed more for the teen than the parents, offering the teen opportunities to improve their scores in lagging categories, such as braking. However, it’s up to the teen to decide when to start the app. Some notable features include a reminder for the driver to buckle their seatbelt and monthly driving challenges. It’s available for Android and iOS phones.
This app is one of the pricier options (ranging from $4 per month to $35 per year), but it comes with a unique feature: hands-free messaging capabilities. The app automatically puts the phone in hands-free mode when the vehicle is in motion. It reads text messages and emails in real-time and allows the driver to respond accordingly. However, it may take some time to get used to the app, and some research suggests that hands-free mobile device use can still be distracting for drivers. The app is currently available only for Android phones.
Toyota Safe & Sound
Although created by Toyota, this app isn’t restricted to Toyota vehicles. It puts the phone in do not disturb mode when the car is moving, similar to Drivesafe.ly Pro’s app. If the teen driver exhibits poor behaviors such as speeding or texting, the app automatically plays a predetermined playlist as a form of deterrent.
AT&T’s app is not limited to AT&T customers. It turns on safety features when the car is moving at 15 MPH or faster, which includes muting text alerts and replying to messages with a standard response. If the app is turned off, parents will receive a notification. The app is available for both Android and iOS platforms.
Encouraging Facts About Teenage Drivers
Finally, let’s remember that not all of the changes that come with adding a teen driver to your family are bad. Yes, your car insurance prices will go up; that happens anytime you add additional drivers to a plan, and so it only makes sense that policies would especially get more expensive when you are adding a driver from what is generally considered the riskiest driver pool, drivers between the ages of 16 and 19. Teen drivers are, however, generally safer now than they have been in previous years, with fewer fatalities and accidents reported each year as a general trend.
Additionally, check out the following 10 positive facts about teenage driving.
Top 10 Positive Facts About Teenage Driving
- Seat belt use among teen drivers has been increasing for decades, from only 74 percent 15 years ago to almost 95 percent today.
- Another encouraging trend: Whereas 15 years ago nearly 40 percent of teenagers surveyed said they had either ridden with someone who had been drinking or knew of peers who had driven after drinking, that number is much closer to 20 percent now.
- Younger drivers have faster reflexes. While this sometimes lends itself to riskier driver behavior, this also means that teen drivers can also make for better drivers, as they may be more quickly able to respond to negative driver behavior by other drivers, or may be better equipped to avoid potential accidents than older drivers.
- Similarly, younger drivers are better able to respond to changing traffic laws or traffic patterns. Roundabouts, for instance, are far more common now than they were ten or twenty years ago; teen drivers are far less likely to have trouble with roundabouts than older drivers.
- Teen drivers also have better memories than older drivers, meaning they are less likely to forget street names or directions. This can be especially important for navigating complex directions, for instance.
- Younger drivers pay more for insurance because of their risk profile, but that also means they help drive down car insurance costs for everyone else.
- That also means that if you are in an accident and the other vehicle is driven by a teen driver, it is far more likely that the car insurance company will cover the cost of damages, as teen drivers are often required to have better insurance because of their risk profile.
- Learning how to drive can also help teens develop a sense of independence and autonomy that is important, especially as they prepare to go off to college or otherwise begin living their lives as autonomous people and no longer children under their parents’ supervision. (Yes, this can be hard for parents to hear…but it’s also part of watching their children grow up.)
- Having a teen driver in the family can also sometimes help free up parents for other tasks. Being able to ask a teen driver to run an errand or take their younger brother or sister to school activity or sports practice, for instance, can be a huge help for busy families.
- Giving your teen driver a chance to drive can also help give you a bonding experience, as you can commiserate over just how many bad drivers there are out there!
Regardless of what choices you make—for yourself, your teen driver, and your car insurance options—know there is lots of good information out there. GPS trackers might be an answer for some families, just as they might not be for other families. Ultimately, it is up to you to determine what is the best course of action for you and your car insurance needs. Know, though, that being educated about your options can help you negotiate and reduce car insurance prices for you and your teen driver!
Using Car GPS To Track Teenagers
Live GPS tracking units can be installed permanently or simply hidden on a vehicle operated by a teen which will then give parents the ability to oversee the driving activity of that teen at any time. Car tracking units will document the locations a teen visits, speeds they drive and more. Parents can even compare the driving data with text message records to determine if a teen is texting while behind the wheel. By comparing text and driving records Montana parents can at least eliminate one of the high-risk driving behaviors associated with teenage driving. However, the live tracking data also provides parents a simple way to locate their teen if the teen runs out of gas, becomes lost or simply needs some form of emergency assistance.
Clearly, the issue of safety among teenage motorists in Montana is a serious one that needs to be addressed frequently and intelligently. The old way was not working and if car tracking units are going to help parents in Montana then that should be something discussed in detail. No state wants to have the distinction of being the most dangerous state for teenage motorists and no parent wants to have their child harmed in a vehicle-related accident. Things need to change in Montana.
Best Auto Insurance For Teen Driver
When a teen finally passes their written and driver’s examinations at the DMV a whole new world of opportunity is opened up. Solo car rides or drives with friends to burger joints, movie theaters and almost any location are now only a set of car keys away. However, with that freedom can come a substantial cost in the form of car payments and auto insurance. In fact, one study conducted by NerdWallet showed that family car insurance goes up roughly $1500 per year when a teen gets added to the auto insurance plan! Ouch! So what is the best way to keep car insurance for newly licensed teen drivers as low as possible so parents don’t go broke trying to keep up with rising auto insurance rates?
Auto insurance providers are data-driven businesses so they are fully aware that teen drivers are for more likely to engage in risky driving behaviors such as speeding. They also understand teen drivers can easily succumb to peer pressure and by doing so make unwise driving decisions. Lastly, car insurers know teens can be careless which can result in potential auto-theft. However, one piece of technology called the GPS car tracker can help reduce many of these liabilities. For example, when a parent equips a vehicle tracker on a teen’s car, that parent will then have the ability to monitor everywhere that teen is going and how fast they are driving. What’s even better is that the real-time GPS units can also send out alerts to notify parents if the vehicle was stolen or if a teenager is driving their car too fast! Many auto insurance companies recognize the benefits associated with GPS vehicle monitoring and will provide discounts on car insurance packages for this. However, GPS auto tracking technology is more than just a tool to reduce car insurance rates for teens because the devices can literally save lives.
The best car GPS tracking devices will cost parents around $99.00-$199.00 per device.
Car insurance companies study the facts and they know firsthand that teens that perform well in the classroom are statistically more likely to perform well on the road. In fact, many insurance providers will offer anywhere from a 10-15% discount on auto insurance for teens who maintain a “B” average or better in the classroom. Therefore, parents that keep their kids focused on the schoolbooks will also keep more money in their pockets.
Professional Driving Courses
In every facet of life the one constant is that experience matters. Therefore, teens who go the extra mile by enrolling in various driving programs and professional driving courses are often rewarded by auto insurers with discounted rates.
Shop, Compare And Combine Insurance Plans
Shopping around and comparing quotes is always good advice, but combining insurance plans can also help reduce rates. Family plans where the entire household is on one coverage policy are shown to save families sometimes as much as $3,000 annually! So combine those insurance plans and shop around to find the most cost-effective option!
Auto insurance is not only the law it’s also extremely beneficial, especially when/if bad things occur. However, that does not mean that auto insurance for teen drivers should break the bank. Parents can save some cash on their teen auto insurance by investing in GPS tracking systems, inspiring their kids to do better at school, enroll them in professional driving classes. Of course, don’t forget to shop, compare and combine auto insurers. Stay safe while driving and always try and save some cash!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Some Strategies To Lower Teen Car Insurance?
Considering the cost, it’s natural to want to lower your insurance expenses. Here are some tips:
- Compare rates: Shopping around and comparing prices can yield better deals.
- Look for discounts: Insurers often have discount programs. Did you know that good grades can lead to lower insurance costs?
- Older cars: Insuring your teen on an older car could save you some cash.
- Add your teen to your policy: As we’ve already established, this is a significant money-saver.
- Consider usage-based insurance: This could reward your teen’s good driving habits.
What Is The Most Dangerous State For Teen Driving?
You might think populous states pose the most risk for teen drivers. However, states like New York and California aren’t even in the top half for unsafe teen driving. Surprisingly, Montana holds the dubious honor of being the most dangerous state for teen drivers. This fact is sparking a search among Montana parents for new safety measures for their young drivers.
Carinsurance.com conducted a survey focusing on multiple factors. These included teen driver deaths per 100k population, texting behaviors, alcohol use, and insurance costs. It also covered other relevant details. Montana scored alarmingly high on several of these high-risk aspects. It ranks third for teens who text while driving and tops the list for teen drunk driving with 13%. This report, although troubling for Montana parents, is vital for developing better safety measures.
Faced with these findings, many Montana parents are taking action. They’re turning to car tracking technology, allowing them to monitor their teens’ driving habits directly.
- Ensuring Safe Teen Driving: Harnessing Technology To Manage Risk and Lower Insurance Costs
- The Real Cost of Adding a Teen to Your Car Insurance
- Top 5 Teen Driving Monitoring Apps
- Encouraging Facts About Teenage Drivers