Because teenagers are new drivers, they simply don’t have the behind-the-wheel experience necessary to understand the dynamics associated with driving a motor vehicle. There’s a vast difference between riding in the passenger seat and being behind the wheel. By teaching teenagers responsible driving behavior, you can help prevent accidents. We encourage you to discuss safe teen driving — it could be one of the most important conversations you have.
Parents’ Guide to Safe Teen Driving
- Choose vehicles for safety, not image. Ensure that the car has airbags and antilock brakes.
- Provide new drivers with plenty of supervised driving practice, even after they have obtained a license, including night driving and driving under hazardous road conditions.
- Mandate safety belt usage.
- Even if your state’s graduated licensing law doesn’t already mandate it, restrict the number of passengers allowed to ride with your teenage driver. Crash rates increase sharply when a teenage driver has passengers, particularly other teenagers.
- Enforce “no drinking and driving” rules.
- Emphasize that safe driving requires your teen’s full attention. Distractions such as cell phone use and text messaging will greatly increase their risk of motor vehicle related injury.
- Place restrictions on nighttime driving to enforce the curfews set by the local towns.
- Enroll new drivers in a driving school to educate them about cars, driving conditions and driving techniques. This will prepare teenagers for the road, and it could reduce accidents.
- Discuss and reinforce responsible driving behavior with teenagers.
- Visit teendriving.aaa.com for a sample agreement and other information to help parents and teens navigate the learning-to-drive process.
Make sure your teen is covered by AAA. Their membership will follow them wherever their adventures take them.