Teenagers have a higher car insurance rate for a reason: young drivers tend to engage in distracted and/or reckless driving more than adults do. That said, a recent Study conducted by Liberty Mutual Insurance in collaboration with Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD) found that older teenagers experience more accidents than younger teens, usually due to poor driving habits. The survey took place between April and May of 2017 and encompassed 2,800 teenagers from high schools across America and revealed that individuals who were in their senior year tended to engage in riskier behaviors behind the wheel.

Risky behaviors while driving

In the United States, some states let teens as young as fifteen legally operate vehicles. Interestingly, in the survey, 57 percent of seniors admitted to getting into an accident or near miss versus 34 percent of sophomores. Liberty Mutual Insurance and SADD recently released these findings to raise awareness of the dangers of participating in distracted, risky, or downright dangerous activities while driving such as talking to passengers, fiddling with the radio, eating, texting, or staring out the side window.

Most driver’s education experts agree that parents play a crucial role in teaching their kids safe driving behaviors by talking about road rules and demonstrating positive decisions while behind the wheel.

Chiefly, Liberty Mutual Insurance warns against the use of a cell phone while driving. The study revealed that an alarming 67 percent of seniors in high school confessed to using apps occasionally while driving.

Good habits behind the wheel

Although many teens stop practicing once they successfully pass their driving test, it is good to continually put the skills you learned during practice to use every time you're on the road.

Moreover, teens should hold one another accountable for driving behaviors and speak up if they feel a peer is unsafely operating a vehicle. Liberty Mutual Insurance has created an app called "Highway Hero" that tracks and subsequently scores good driving behavior such as not using your phone, accelerating harshly, breaking hard, or speeding.

Good drivers may be rewarded with an auto insurance discount in select states.

“Texting, using social media and changing the music on your phone are all leading causes of accidents and near misses on the road,” said Liberty Mutual's Mike Sample, a lead driving safety expert and technical consultant. “Parents must remember that older teens are still quite inexperienced drivers, but you can reward teens for safe driving. It is very effective to present them with rewards like gift cards or a break from chores to help keep teenagers mindful about the importance of making good decisions and practicing good driving habits while they are behind the wheel.”