Teenage drivers. How easily those two words evoke fear into the hearts of everyone on the road. Their presence is a reminder that driving is a learned skill, and the teaching process requires patience and an abundance of chocolate. Personally, I have yet to lose my cool with my own permit carrying daughter; although, there was a bit of tension recently when that ever familiar red and white octagon sign was closing in on us. Perceiving that my daughter was failing to apply the appropriate amount of pressure to the braking system as the sign loomed ahead, I will admit to uttering (in a panicked and shrill voice) the words: “Stop. Stop! STOP! STOP!!” I braced for the sound of crunching metal on the off chance she did not stop in time. Before this little episode, I might have questioned if teen drivers and their higher premiums were being a bit stereo-typed. My daughter is an intelligent, responsible, young lady, but let’s face the facts, my friends: the girl cannot yet drive. She simply does not have the same experience, thus there is a greater risk she will fail to stop at the stop sign if unsure of what direction to take. (Have mercy!) Driving experience is not the only factor to consider when premium prices are determined. As the economy is undergoing a bounce back, people are buying more new cars instead of older models. These newer cars are more expensive to repair or replace should they become “injured.” In addition, more people are driving these new cars (and their late model counterparts) as gas prices have stabilized. More people on the road means more opportunity to bump into one another … literally. Factoring in that many cars are now sporting all of the latest bells and whistles, the cost to repair even the smallest of issues has now increased. Currently, I have a check engine light continuously lit on my dash. The only problem with my car is the check engine light itself. Bringing that light back into submission from this little rebellion is going to cost $300, thus, we have decided to let the light live on in its defiance. Fancy sensors such as this are not the only expenses we embrace with our technological advances. Our Navigation systems, back up cameras, and Siri ordering our pizza on the way home have caused some of us to get distracted as we contemplated the greater decisions in life such as pepperoni or sausage. Distracted drivers simply cause more accidents, and should anyone be injured when our GPS sends us the wrong way down a one way street, the liability cost of medical care has risen as well. So, while you are re-living your glory days with Sirius as “80s on 8” blasts through your incredible car stereo system, remember to thank your insurance agents for finding you the best coverage possible to protect those sweet accessories. And, should you pass a car going very slowly with a teen driver at the wheel and a fear stricken parent navigating, please give us a wide berth when passing and an encouraging smile to persevere on.
Mom of three more to teach how to drive