Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Poor Economy Has Delayed Teen Driving for Many Families

Many families across the USA are delaying the “rite of passage” teens eagerly await – getting licensed and beginning to drive.  A survey* conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Nationwide Insurance surveyed almost 1,500 parents with teens of driving age early this year.
The survey revealed the following surprises:
  • The cost of teen driving is the number one concern, second only to worries about distracted driving.
  • The average household spends over $3000 per year to support their teen driving.
  • On average, parents pay around two-thirds of the cost of their teen driving, with about two in five parents paying the entire cost.
  • The cost of auto insurance heads up the list of concerns about expenses, with over half of parents expressing worry about even greater costs should their teen be responsible for a damage accident. About 70 percent of parents insure their teen on their own policy at an average uptick in premiums of around $800 per year.
  • About half of parents say they have had to make cuts in the family budget to afford teens driving, with entertainment, eating out and taking vacations getting the brunt of the impact.
  • Some one-third of parents say their teen has had to get a part-time job to help pay the costs of driving
Larry Thursby, Vice President of Auto Product & Pricing at Nationwide Insurance observed, “Today, households with teen drivers are paying a substantial amount of money each year to allow their teens to drive. And, as such a large number of parents taking the financial hit for their teens driving, many families of teens are realizing that, as a result of the economic downturn, adjustments and sacrifices are necessary to help allow their teens to drive. 
“Adding a teen driver to your policy is a great opportunity to have a discussion with your agent or insurance company to make sure you have the right coverage and a price that’s right for your family. Invest the time to talk about your insurance, because it can save you money not only on auto, but all of your insurance coverage.”
We’d like to add to Thursby’s advice: This is also a good time to talk with your teen – especially if they’re still in the Learner’s Permit phase and are not driving solo yet – about the free Safe Teen Driving Pledge. Statistics show that 58% of new  teen drivers crash the car in the first year.  Sitting down with your teen to establish driving rules, expectations and penalties is far more effective than just “talking about” safe driving.  The Safe Teen Driving Pledge memorializes the conversation by putting rules down in writing.  Get your free copy here.  
And while your’re at the site, check out the Spotlight on Safety product of the month, the Tracker XP.  It's a brand new parenting tool that lets you watch over your teen whenever he or she is driving – when you’re at work, at home or anywhere you can get cell or Internet service. Just plug it in to the OBD port under the dashboard and it begins working. There's no installation, no wiring. Simple, quick and easy. Keeping watch over your kids when they're behind the wheel has never been easier or more economical. 


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