Canada’s teens face car insurance challenges

If you have a teen who is getting ready to drive, you will find that car insurance is not as affordable for your kid than it is for yourself, unless you have a particularly bad driving record. Why is this? Car insurance in Canada for teens is more expensive because teens are more risky drivers to insure.

Higher Rates of Accidents

Both the United States and Canada allow teens to drive, but statistics show that this may not be the safest option. In 2007 in the United States, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 13 percent of all drivers that were in fatal car accidents were between the ages of 15 and 20. While this percentage is dropping, as it was up 9.1 percent in 2006, it is still a danger. The statistic increases to 15 percent of all police-reported crashes that were not necessarily fatal. Canadian statistics are similar. Other statistics show that teens are as much as four times as likely as adults to be involved in an accident with a fatality.

On top of this lies the fact many teens drive while intoxicated. MADD of Canada reports that 40 percent of teenage drivers who are killed in car accidents were involved in those crashes because they had been drinking. Statistics indicate that teens are less likely than older adults to drive after drinking, but those that do are at a higher risk than an adult to get in a crash. These two facts mean that teenage drivers must pay more for Canada insurance products for drivers.

Possible Reasons for the Risk

Why are teens at higher risk than older adults to be involved in a car crash? Experts think there are two reasons. First, many teens are risky drivers due to the fact that they do not always think through the consequences of their actions. They may drive too quickly in order to get to school on time or are easily distracted by other passengers in their cars. They are also more likely to text or talk on the phone while driving than an adult, despite bans on such actions.

A lack of experience is another factor. Teens simply have less time behind the wheel than most adult drivers, which makes the likelihood that they will be in a crash that much higher. Because of this, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among North American teens. In fact, in Canada around 11 percent of all driver deaths are teen drivers, and teen drivers are responsible for over 20 percent of all passenger deaths. Car insurance Canada insurers recognize this and assign higher rates as a result.

What Can Be Done?

One option, which has been successfully tried in Ontario, is to implement a graduated licensing program. This allows teens to get their driver's licenses only after completing a series of steps. This gives teens more chances to practice driving in less distracting environments. Young teens cannot drive late at night and have limits on the number of passengers in their vehicles. This can reduce teen car crashes by as much as 60 percent.

Parents can also help by modeling good driving to their teens. As a parent, make sure that you are driving without distractions like cell phones or PDAs, and teach your child how to stay safe. Also, keep your teen accountable when using the family car, and make sure that you know who will be traveling with him.

Teens are more dangerous drivers than adults. Teens are four times more likely to be involved in fatal accidents than adult drivers, and because of this auto insurance rates are going to be higher. Rest assured, however, that with the proper teaching and enough practice, your teen does not have to be part of this statistic.

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