Does Saving Money On Auto Insurance Mean More Restrictions for Teens?
In North Dakota, the insurance commissioner is raising a proposal to further restrict the driving privileges for the state’s teenage drivers, in an effort to cut the number of accident-related deaths and also to cut insurance premiums for parents. In North Dakota, teens are allowed to get their licenses at the age of 16, and allowed to drive with permits as young as the age of 14. This allows them more time to train and practice before they officially become licensed drivers, but with over 22% of the fatal accidents being caused by teen drivers, obviously there is a problem.
If you’re a teen in North Dakota, you only make up 7% of the population. When one fifth of that population is depleted each year because of inexperience and stupidity, something needs to be done. The actual proposal that the commissioner is making is to restrict 14 and 15-year old drivers to driving only between the hours of 5 AM and 11 PM and making cell phone use illegal while driving. This proposal has created a lot of room for debate and disagreement; everyone wants safer drivers, but many think that the proposition is secondary to more important issues that face the state right now.
Most states have a graduated program for teenage drivers; the programs usually call for certain restrictions depending on the age of the drivers and the type of license that they have. In North Dakota, there is no graduated program, nor any special restrictions in place for drivers under the age of 18. Lawmakers and officials claim that they simply don’t want teens driving around all night, talking on their phones, and having cars full of teens. All these distractions are an accident waiting to happen.
No matter what kinds of laws are put in place, teens are still going to be high risk drivers because of their inexperience. Auto insurance companies are prepared to reward teen drivers and their parents by using this graduated system and lowering the risk because of the restrictions. Imagine if you could save 5-10% on your auto insurance rates just because your teen isn’t driving during certain hours. Everyone who has a teen driver understands how expensive the insurance can get, and having a teen driver that’s involved in an accident is every parent’s nightmare, because of injury or death, but also because of insurance rate increases.