Parents should be responsible for paying their child’s auto insurance due to the number of risk factors facing teen drivers. Assuming parental responsibility for a child means that parents do whatever it takes to ensure their child is safe and their needs are met.
Just as parents make sure their child is well fed and clothed, parents should shoulder some of the responsibility for ensuring their teenagers are driving safely. Teenagers are essentially not legal adults and do not have full time employment, therefore parents should pay to insure their teenagers while driving.
Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States. Teen drivers have a higher accident rate than drivers in older age groups. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in 2009, teens ages 16 to 19 were four times more likely to crash than older drivers.
Teen drivers also engage in risky behavior which contributes to the high rate of accidents among teenagers. Behavioral factors include drinking and driving, texting while driving and not wearing seat belts. Teens engaged in drinking and driving is another factor that places teens at risk of being involved in a serious accident. Drinking and driving is one of the leading causes of death for teen drivers. According to Above the Influence, “In 2006, more than 19% of drivers ages 16 to 20 who died in motor vehicle crashes had been drinking alcohol”. Teen drivers that engage in this behavior are a greater risk to themselves and other drivers on the road.
Additionally, with the rise of cell phone usage and texting among teens, some teens are more likely to engage in texting and talking while driving. This issue has garnered national attention as Secretary of State Ray Lahood and Oprah Winfrey teamed up to promote the “No Phone Zone” campaign to increase awareness and change the risky behavior of teenagers who text while driving.
Another risk factor includes not wearing a seat belt, which also contributes to the number of fatalities from car collisions. If a teen is drinking and driving or texting and driving, in addition to not wearing a seat belt, it only compounds the problem and increases a teenagers risk of being seriously injured, if a collision were to occur.
Speaking further to the risky behavior among teenagers, millennials have more distractions than other generations before them, because of the increased usage of technology. Millennials outnumber Baby Boomers, in number and buying power. Millennials were born between 1977 and 1998. There are approximately 80 million millennials, compared to 73 million baby boomers. Millennials are also early adopters of new technology including Smartphone’s. In fact, Newsweek calls the “millennials the first truly digital generation”. Because of these increased risk factors and the number of teen drivers on the roads, there is a need for more parental involvement and control when it comes to changing the behavior of teens drivers.
Parents may be more prone to get involved in monitoring their children’s driving behavior, if they have access to the right tools and information that can assist them in their efforts. With the proliferation of smartphone usage, parents may want to consider installing technology that will help them monitor their teens driving behavior. There are few monitoring systems like Tiwi, which alerts drivers they are speeding and when they are not wearing a seat belt. If the behavior is not corrected, the device alerts parents via, email or text that the driver is not complying.
Technology is changing the game for many teen drivers. As technology continues to improve, parents will have more power to monitor and influence their teens driving behavior. If parents have to pay for auto insurance for their teenage drivers, then they should have the ability to monitor their child’s behavior behind the wheel.