September 15, 2010
Toronto, Ontario – Young and new drivers are making claims on their auto insurance at a 41 per cent higher rate than other drivers, according to a new report released by insurance company Aviva Canada, despite graduated licensing programs implemented in every Canadian province.
“It’s something that isn’t a surprise to most of us,” said Mauro Convertini, vice-president of auto claims. “When you combine a less-experienced driver with someone who is also more susceptible to taking risks, as a higher percentage of young people are, the result is more collisions. But there are ways to minimize young and new driver accidents, and it starts with proper driving training.”
Aviva’s data showed that young and new drivers who received certified driver education are involved in 26 per cent fewer collisions in the three years following the training. This is even more significant considering that the average claim cost for a young or new driver is $8,661, which is 44 per cent higher than a driver with more experience. Young and new drivers are also least likely to have a collision on Sunday, with the instance steadily increasing to a peak on Friday, where a crash is 52 per cent more likely to occur. “Proper driver training is vital, but practicing with an experienced driver is the key to reducing collisions,” Convertini said. “Parents can’t just rely on a driving instructor to teach their teenagers the rules of the road. They need to lead by example and practice safe, defensive driving every time they are behind the wheel.”
Alberta had the highest rate of claims by young or new drivers compared with experienced drivers, at 93 per cent, while Newfoundland had the lowest, at 35 per cent. The average cost of a claim by a young or new driver was highest in Ontario, at $11,499, while it was lowest in Quebec, at $3,355.