GEICO asks parents: Is your teen driver prepared for more time behind the wheel during the summer months?

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 28, 2015 – As school winds down for the summer, teens will have more opportunities to get behind the wheel, which makes now a good time for parents to brush up on safe driving laws.

Those laws – Graduated Drivers Licensing Laws or GDL Laws – have specific rules for teens to follow, and they’ve proven to be enormously effective. First introduced nearly 20 years ago, GDL laws have reduced teen accidents by as much as 30 percent on average*. Also, fatal crashes for teens have declined steadily and significantly during that time.

GEICO asks parents to review their state's GDL laws with their teens so summer is a great time and a safe time for everyone.

Some key examples include:

  • Limit the number of passengers: For every additional teen passenger in a vehicle, the risk of an accident increases because passengers can often cause distractions and encourage risky behavior. Most states have laws limiting the number of passengers for new drivers to help them better focus on the road and drive more safely.
  • Maintain nighttime curfew: Most fatal teen crashes happen between 9 p.m. and midnight. While it may be convenient to give your teen the car for late-night activities, this isn't the safest choice. Nighttime driving proves to be one of the most difficult and dangerous tasks for inexperienced drivers. 
  • Put in the hours: Practice driving in as many different types of situations as possible. Go out with your young driver in good and bad weather, on rural and urban roads, highways, and more.

Most importantly, log at least the amount of practice hours your state requires. More is better.

Falsifying practice hours to speed up the licensing process is extremely detrimental for a novice driver, and puts others' safety at risk. Once your teen gets licensed, still ride with him/her periodically to reinforce what you practiced together.

Tailoring your household rules to mirror GDL laws could help your teen become a safer driver. A summary of GDL laws for your state is available from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

*Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company), the second-largest auto insurer in the U.S., was founded in 1936 and insures more than 27 million vehicles.

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