Teen Will Drive Soon

It seems like a “rite of passage” from childhood into becoming an adult. Your little boy or girl gets their G2 and MUST have a car because everyone in school has one. Teens crave the freedom away from Mom and Dad, acceptance by their peers and the ability to show off (with the right vehicle of course!).

Teen Driving Statistics

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of teen death in Canada. 500 people between 15 & 24 die and another 40,000 are injured annually across the nation in car accidents. Teens crash for many reasons, but the most common are overconfidence, speeding, impaired driving, distraction and inexperience. In addition, seat belt use among teens is among the lowest of any age group on the road.

In Canada, teens (16 to 19 years of age) represent 5% of drivers but make up 14% of of all fatalities and injuries. Recent statistics show that motor vechicle crashes are now the #1 killer of teens in Canada. Speed, distraction, fatigue, impaired driving and inexperience, coupled with a lack of seat belt use, are all prevalent factors in these fatal crashes.

Driver Education

In fact, because of the high death toll involved with teen driving, many provinces have already enacted Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) laws.

Graduated Driver Licensing introduces teenage drivers to the road in stages, over an extended period of time and in an environment that minimizes risk. First is the Permit Phase (G1 license in Ontario) where the teen practices with supervision. Next is the Provisional or Probationary Phase (G2 license in Ontario) where the teen is allowed independent driving with restrictions. Only after successfully completing both phases will the teen be granted full (G license in Ontario) driving privileges. As your teen learns this new and important skill, practice is very important. As a parent or guardian of a new driver, spend as much time as possible helping and teaching your teen good driving habits.

Many provinces have restrictive laws that go along with having a G1 & G2 license, such as:

For G1 Drivers:

  1. Drive only when they have a “zero” blood alcohol level – without exception
  2. Drive only when there is another fully licensed driver in the vehicle who has a minimum of four years’ experience as such, sitting in the passenger seat
  3. This person must be the only passenger in the front. They must have a blood alcohol level below 0.05%, unless they are 21 years old or younger in which they too must have a zero blood alcohol level
  4. Ensure all passengers wear a functioning seatbelt, and that the number of passengers does not exceed the seatbelts available
  5. Not drive on any 400-series highway or high-speed expressway (like the QEW and the Gardiner Expressway)
  6. Not drive between the hours of midnight and 5:00 a.m.

For G2 Drivers:

  1. You must not drive if you have been drinking alcohol.  Your blood-alcohol level must be zero.  Each person in the vehicle must have a working seatbelt.
  2. In addition, the following restrictions apply between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m. to G2 drivers aged 19 years and under. 
  3. In the first six months after receiving your G2, you are allowed to carry only one passenger aged 19 or under.  After six months your G2 licence and until you obtain your full G licence or turn 20, you are allowed to carry up to three passengers aged 19 or under.

These laws may vary a bit by province but are now becoming extremely common.

Ontario Fraud Laws and Auto Insurance

Insurance statistics show that  the youthful driver is significantly more likely to have an accident than a typical adult driver, so there will be a higher premium charged when the youthful driver is added to the parents policy.

There is a temptation then to “forget” to add the new driver to the auto policy or not list the new driver on your renewal questionnaire in order to save money even though the child is driving Mom or Dad’s car. We caution you against this practice. An insurance company is within their rights to deny any claim where it is found that there has been fraudulent misrepresentation.

Insurance-Friendly Cars For Teens

The decision is made. You want to buy your son or daughter their first car. It will be in your name and properly added to your policy. But what to buy? You know it's not only the car model you have to consider. You also have to think about the impact the car will have on your auto insurance.

Insurance companies surcharge youthful operators in these areas:

  • Liability
  • Accident Benefits
  • Comprehensive (theft)
  • Collision (damage caused to the vehicle in an accident)

If you choose a vehicle that may be older, and does not require comprehensive or collision (a lower value vehicle) the premium will be considerably less than a newer one which will require full coverage.

Let us assist you in making a good choice for your teen. Contact Colley Insurance and one of our agents can help you make the right decision when buying that first car for your teenager.