As a parent, you watch your child hit all the milestones—the first smile, the first words, the first steps. And far too quickly those milestones get bigger. Suddenly your child is a teen, itching to get behind the wheel of a car.
A new teen driver on the road is a daunting prospect for any parent. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control, drivers ages 15 to 19 accounted for only 6.5 percent of the U.S. population in 2016 but represented 8.4 percent of costs related to vehicle accidents.
But rather than sitting by the door biting your nails as you wait for her to drive home from an evening out with her friends, help ensure your teen’s safety with a little extra help from her smartphone. A number of safe-driving apps actually reinforce smart habits behind the wheel that your kids have already learned in driving school and (hopefully) from you.
When she’s safely ensconced on the couch and craving screen time, have her download one of these safe driving apps to help keep her focused while on the road:
Bouncie: Whether you use the free version or upgrade for more features, this smartphone safe-driving app not only helps you keep track of your teen on the road (with real-time location updates) but also alerts him immediately if he’s speeding, accelerating too hard, braking too hard, or engaging in other unsafe driving behaviors. Plus, the driving app maintains a driving habit history so you can track his improvement over time.
Safe and Sound by Toyota: With speed and smartphone use being the two biggest contributors to vehicle accidents, this safe-driving app keeps your teen from texting and scrolling through Instagram when her eyes should be on the road. It automatically sets smartphones to “Do Not Disturb” mode when the vehicle is in motion, and if your teen breaks the rules, this driving app turns control of her music playlist over to you!
TrueMotion Family: This free driving app not only lets you track your teen’s location while he’s driving but keeps track of the whole family—their locations while in motion and while parked, everyone’s driving habits (i.e. no speeding or texting while driving because Mom and Dad will know!), and even rates the household drivers’ habits against one another, so you can start some friendly family competition that will also inspire teen safety.
DriveSmart: Give your mobile-savvy teen a little extra incentive to drive safely. With the DriveSmart free driving app, you can not only track your teen’s driving habits on every trip she makes, but she can collect Smartcoins for demonstrated safe driving practices. Nothing like earning a little extra spending money for keeping her eyes on the road!
AT&T Drive Mode: Kill the distractions that could get your teen in an accident with this safe-driving app that silences smartphone alerts when your teen is driving over 15 mph. The app automatically responds to texts to let senders know he’s driving and allows one-touch music and navigation access. The app will even send an alert to you if your teen turns it off.
Teen safety on the road is serious business. Keep your loved ones a little bit safer and inspire some friendly competition and fun at the same time with one of these safe driving apps. Ensure your teen’s next milestone moment—getting that driver’s license—is a positive one!
EMERGE INSURANCE AGENCY
“Why did my insurance premium increase? I haven’t been in an accident, gotten any tickets, or made changes to my policy.”
Sound familiar? This question is one insurance agents receive all the time. When the cost of your car insurance goes up at renewal, the increase can feel unjustified — especially if you’ve been insured with the company for a long time and haven’t had any tickets or accidents. I felt the same way when the cost of my auto insurance increased by 28% last year (yes, insurance agents are impacted by premium increases, too!).
But before switching insurance companies, there are two important things to keep in mind. First, rate increases aren’t unique to any one insurance company or geographic area. Premium increases are impacting drivers across the country for a variety of reasons. Second, and more importantly, there are things you can do to off-set any premium increase you receive.
(Watch: ABC News Report “Auto insurance costs rise, in part due to texting by drivers”)
Why are insurance companies raising rates?
At its most basic form, the premise of insurance is sharing risk and shouldering costs with others. Although your individual circumstances or driving behaviors may not have changed, all of us are impacted by the following:
How Can You Lower Your Car Insurance Premium?
Most importantly, drive carefully. Observing traffic rules and speed limits and avoiding moving violations and accidents is the best way to reduce your insurance costs over time. There are also many immediate solutions to lowering your auto insurance premium:
Emerge Insurance Agency Can Help
As independent insurance agents, we represent the Pacific Northwest’s best insurance companies, including Safeco, Travelers, Progressive and other top-rated companies.
We can advise you on your insurance options and ensure you’re still receiving the combination of value and protection that is right for your family.
Not a Emerge Insurance Agency client yet? Click here to request an insurance review by one of our agents, or call our office at 904-677-5884.
Cecil Williams -