New drivers are at particular risk on the road, causing twice as many accidents as the national average. This isn't lost on insurance carriers, who usually have much higher premiums for drivers under the age of 18. In fact, insurance rates for young men don't usually level off until they're around 25.
As it happens, 25 is a pretty accurate number. Science has demonstrated over the last decade that neurological development is a slow process. Simply put, the brains of young people aren't fully formed yet, with qualities like judgment and restraint developing only in the early twenties. That means that teens, even when properly trained, aren't going to be as responsible behind the wheel as their adult counterparts.
It's why the state of Texas initiated a graduated driver's license program - to minimize the risk posed by teens learning the ropes. And it's borne fruit: over the last decade, teen fatality crashes have been reduced by over 30%.
Now, with cell phones becoming ubiquitous among teens, distracted driving is a bigger problem than ever - and teens remain at high risk in the first years of driving.
Insurance requirements are the same for all drivers in Texas. Driving without insurance is a serious offense, and could lead to loss of license, even (and especially) for new drivers. It's critical that insurance be sorted out before teens get on the road.
The state of Texas mandates coverage of 25/50/25 for anyone operating a motor vehicle. This means $25,000 for bodily injury to one person, $50,000 for bodily injury to more than one person, and $25,000 for property damage.
That said, given the elevated risk to young drivers, most insurance companies recommend more coverage for teens. It's something you should consider seriously, as the danger is demonstrably high.
But it's not cheap. Adding a teen driver to your insurance policy will mean an annual increase of anywhere from $1,200 to $4,900, with the state average clocking in at $2,171. This reflects the reality of the statistics on teen drivers, so it's a good idea to take it as a sobering warning. Teens should be carefully prepared for the danger, and parents should too.