There are two big talks parents need to have with their teens. One is about the birds and the bees and other? It’s about driving. Why is that? Because teens are the highest risk drivers on the road. They are responsible for more accidents than any other age group of drivers and that means that they put their lives at risk as well as the lives of others.

Tangible proof of the risk factor can be found when you go to get NY car insurance quotes and find that having a teen on your policy makes a big difference to your premium cost. Since insurance companies operate on risk, it should come as no surprise.

So here’s what a talk with a teen driver should sound like:

It’s important to acknowledge how invincible teens feel and then important to come out with some of the facts about teen driving. You can’t preach but you really must be direct because the facts speak volumes

  • Car crashes are the top cause of death among teens in the US, with a fatality rate for teen drivers four times that of drivers ages 25 to 69
  • The fatality rate in crashes is highest for 16 and 17 year olds in the first six months of getting a license and remains high until they are 25 years of age.
  • A top cause of teen crashes is cell phone distraction.
  • About two-thirds of teens who die in crashes do so when another teen is at the wheel.

It’s also important to address the subject of texting. Texting at the wheel is now the leading cause of death among teens. Over 3,000 die each year from accidents caused by texting.  But it’s hard to break this kind of behavior—every teen texts continuously, posts to social media and talks on the phone. All of these distractions can cause careless errors that result in an accident with dire results. It is really important for your teen to understand the serious consequences of this and also—secondarily– to understand what accidents due to negligence might mean to your premium cost.

This might be the most important talk you have with your teen. It might save their life or someone else’s. Make sure you have the talk before you ever give your teen driver the keys to a car for the first time, and have it again the first time they drive solo.