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Sending a message to teen drivers

Lisa Napoli Sep 14, 2007
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Sending a message to teen drivers

Lisa Napoli Sep 14, 2007
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TEXT OF STORY

KAI RYSSDAL: Teenagers eventually wind up driving some of those cars Detroit sells. There are restrictions on what their licenses and permits let them do, of course. No driving at night, for instance. And as of last night here in California, no cell phones, laptops or other portable gizmos. California is now the 16th state with electronic limits on its teenage drivers. Whether it might limit their insurance rates is another matter entirely. Here’s Marketplace’s Lisa Napoli.


Lisa Napoli: There’s a reason kids pay more for car insurance than adults.

Candysse Miller: Your first year of driving is the most dangerous year of your life.

That’s Candysse Miller of the Insurance Information Network of California.

Miller: When you add a cell phone or texting device to the fact that they’re already a little challenged when it comes to driving . . . it only exacerbates the problem.

Nearly 20 percent of teenagers cop to texting while driving. And that’s having an impact on the price parents pay to insure their kids.

Typically, auto insurance has cost more for boys than girls. But Carolyn Gorman of the Insurance Information Institute says that’s changing.

Carolyn Gorman: The gap is narrowing because girls are becoming more and more like their brothers.

Gorman says while laws can’t legislate common sense, they seem to be having an impact. A federal study showed fewer people of all ages are using cell phones from behind the wheel. Probably because they know they’ll get busted if they get caught.

In Los Angeles, I’m Lisa Napoli for Marketplace.

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