Understand the Facts & Risks

You’ll continue to play an important role as your teen takes on the responsibilities of driving solo – and AAA can help you understand the facts and risks involved in this stage of teen driving.

Get the Facts Reduce the Risks
Seat Belt Use Because research shows teen safety belt use trails behind adults’ usage, set a good example by requiring everyone to buckle up.
Driving conditions Rain, snow, darkness, heavy traffic and other realities of driving pose challenges for new drivers. Even after your teen has gotten licensed, you should practice driving under each of these conditions.
Peer pressure Talk with your teen about the importance of resisting peer pressure and offer advice on how to handle hypothetical driving situations.
Distracted driving Many teens admit to cell phone use and texting while behind the wheel despite clear dangers. Make a family rule covering these and other distractions that everyone abides by.
Speeding Speed is a leading factor in crashes for teens and adults. Set a good example and set strong rules.
Driving with passengers Teen drivers’ crash risks multiply when they have teen passengers. Set limits and enforce them.
Alcohol use Enforce strict zero tolerance rules with your teen and be a good role model.
Poor visual scanning Commentary driving – both as a driver and passenger – can help teens work on their scanning. So can some AAA tools.
Difficulty judging space and time You and your teen should still regularly drive together so that you can provide feedback and instruction.

Your teen’s brain is still developing, and important parts related to risk and decision-making won’t mature for several more years. Continue talking with your teen about the risks of driving, consistently enforce driving rules established by you and law enforcement, be involved in your teen’s driving decisions and model responsible driving behavior. Also, encourage your teen to talk to you about any driving experiences and concerns.

Don’t let the opportunity to protect your teen’s life slip through your fingers. Your actions make a significant difference.