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Insurance groups launch effort to reduce teen road fatalities

Insurance groups launch effort to reduce teen road fatalities

WASHINGTON—Teen drivers are four times more likely to crash than motorists 20 and older, and the fatal crash rate for teens is nearly three times higher than that of older drivers.

To help address these concerning trends, the American Property Casualty Insurance Association and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety have teamed to launch the Navigate to Safety program.

The program is comprised of three educational road maps that provide expert advice and other resources to help parents safely guide their children through early driving experiences.

The road maps can be downloaded at

“Parents need clear information to help kids stay safe and develop good driving habits from the beginning,” said David Harkey, IIHS president. “This program is designed to address the key risk factors and simplify some of the tough decisions parents face when it comes to their teen drivers.”

Robert Passmore, APCIA vice president of auto and claims policy, said helping teen drivers develop responsible habits early is key to fostering a new generation of safe drivers and creating safer roadways.

The program’s three road maps are titled “Choosing a Vehicle,” “Embracing Safety Tech” and “Laying Down the Law.” Each highlights key facets of parenting teen drivers.

“Choosing a Vehicle” serves as a buying guide and provides an overview of factors like vehicle age, size and crashworthiness to consider when purchasing a child’s first car. Parents also can view a full list of new and used vehicles recommended by IIHS and Consumer Reports for teen drivers.

“Embracing Safety Tech” highlights teen monitoring and advanced safety features that are available in modern vehicles, some of which may be unfamiliar to parents. Features such as automatic emergency braking, blind spot detection and lane departure warning systems can help control vehicles and are invaluable for less-experienced drivers.

Lastly, “Laying Down the Law” helps parents and their children familiarize themselves with local laws, and explains the benefits of enforcing additional rules with teen drivers. A customizable contract that teens and parents can discuss and sign also is included.

Virginia Farm Bureau is an IIHS member organization and offers teen drivers and parents additional resources through Virginia Farm Bureau’s Smart Start Teen Driving Program. Participants can find helpful tips on driving laws and a review of safe driving habits in the program’s Safe Driver Booklet.

Virginia Farm Bureau insurance customers can save up to 10% off premiums for drivers under 18 when their children are accident- and conviction-free, and complete the program’s quiz. All customers need to complete the quiz in 30 minutes and have a valid Farm Bureau auto insurance policy number for the discount to be applied once it is passed.

The quiz is available online, or customers can call their local Farm Bureau insurance agent for a printed copy.

Media: Contact Joe Young, IIHS director of media relations, at 434-895-9244 or Adam Culler, VFBF communications, at 804-240-6272.