teenager driving with his father

Teen Driver Safety: How Your Teen Can Become a Safe Driver  

By Carrie Skogsberg 

Reviewed by Rachel Dew, National Auto Product Analyst  

Parenting can be tricky at any life stage, but parents face a range of new challenges when their teenagers start driving. You want your teens to enjoy their newfound independence, but how do you make sure they stay safe on the road?  

According to the Centers for Disease Control¹, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens (ages 13–19) in the U.S. Per mile driven, teen drivers ages 16 – 19 have a fatal crash rate almost three times as high as drivers ages 20 and older.  

Statistics like these make it difficult to hand over the keys to your new driver, but there are many ways to instill safe driving behavior. Try these methods to prepare your teenager to safely take the wheel.  

Discuss distracted driving with your teen  

From smartphones to touch screen monitors and satellite radio, we’re surrounded by more distracting technology in our cars than ever before. A split-second glance at a screen can end in tragedy for your teenager, their passengers, and other drivers, so make sure you discuss using tools to help keep their eyes on the road. For example, many smartphones offer apps that will disable incoming texts while the car is moving and will alert the person who sent the text that the recipient is driving and can’t respond at that time.  

Teach your new driver to plan ahead to avoid potential driving distractions. Before starting the ignition, your teen should handle all the tasks he or she may be tempted to do while driving, queuing up their playlist and inputting their destination into a map app. Don’t forget fundamental safety precautions like checking mirrors and buckling seatbelts. Making it a habit to complete these steps before they pull out of the driveway can help make sure they get there safely. 

Learn and follow the driving laws for teens  

Teens lack of driving experience and maturity can make them riskier drivers. They are often tempted to speed, run red lights, roll through stop signs, and otherwise break the law while driving. All 50 states and the District of Columbia have enacted a three-stage graduated driver licensing system that reduces high-risk driving situations for new drivers. This includes limiting the number of passengers a teen can have in the car and restricting driving at night. Knowing your state's teen driving laws will help you to enforce rules for your teen.  

Use auto telematics to track driving behavior  

Many insurance companies, including COUNTRY, offer auto telematics apps that gather data on things like acceleration, braking, cornering and phone usage. Auto telematics programs also reward drivers for safe driving with a discount on car insurance. Learn more about COUNTRY Financial DriverIQ.  

How to save money on car insurance for teenagers 

Because teens are typically more risky drivers, their car insurance rates can be more expensive than an adult. However, there are ways to save money on car insurance for teens, such as: 

  • Take a safe driving course. COUNTRY offers Simply Drive², an online course that, if completed, can result in a 10% discount on car insurance. 

  • Keep those grades up! Full-time students with at least a B grade point average could save up to 35% on car insurance with a Good Student Discount.  

Learn more about car insurance.


Updated 10-17-23 

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COUNTRY Financial® is a family of affiliated companies (collectively, COUNTRY) located in Bloomington, IL. Learn more about who we are.


² Not available in Alaska.

Auto insurance policies issued by COUNTRY Mutual Insurance Company®, COUNTRY Preferred Insurance Company® and COUNTRY Casualty Insurance Company®, Bloomington, IL. 

Discounts and availability vary by state.