Keys2Drive The AAA Guide to Teen Driver Safety
Watch Coaching Videos

Watch Coaching Videos

Ever wondered what goes on when other parents and teens practice driving together? So did the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

To find out, the AAA Foundation and University of North Carolina installed small cameras and microphones in the cars of 50 families while their teens learned to drive. AAA will use this research to help improve its driver training tools for instructors and parents. You can watch some of the videos by clicking in the boxes below. If you’d like, you can view the fact sheet from the research or view the entire report.

In the examples below, you’ll learn that: Mistakes provide key opportunities for parents to provide constructive feedback. Teens benefit from positive feedback when they’re driving well.

By listening to what teens say, parents can often hear what they should both be doing better.

Anticipate by Looking Ahead  Near Crash: "They Ran a Red Light!"
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Summary: A dad explains to his teen driver that it is helpful to look a few cars ahead when driving and to be observant of the stop lights to get a better sense of what is happening on the road.

Summary: During this clip, a teen driver is almost hit by another car running a red light. The dad first warns her to stop, then follows up once the moment has passed, supporting the need to provide teens with immediate feedback and explanations for situations in which the teen has made a mistake or other drivers have made mistakes.

 

Look Both Ways Teens Need Variety
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Summary: A mom reminds her son that it is important to look both ways before driving through an intersection, demonstrating the significance of providing positive, constructive feedback while driving with teens.

 

Summary: A teen driver comments on her improvement, noting that she drives the route five days a week. While important to drive similar routes, it is also critical for parents to take their teens on different roads for varied driving experience.
Things Look So Different at Night "Hate it When You Are on the Phone"
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Summary: A teen driver notices how different things look in the dark, reinforcing the value of teens receiving nighttime driving experience.

Summary: A teen tells her mom that she does not like it when her mom is on the phone in the car when teen does not know where she is going. This clip demonstrates the importance of eliminating distractions as well as communication and attentiveness during teen-parent driving practice.

 

Good Instruction Teen Driver Asks for Feedback
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Summary: A teen asks for confirmation that it is okay to make a left-hand turn. The dad cautions him that while it was okay to turn, situations such as that are sometimes tricky because headlights at night can prevent drivers from seeing other approaching vehicles.

 

Summary: A teen requests input from her dad on a turn she has just made, which the dad points out was not too sharp but could have been taken at a lower speed. Continued communication between parent and teen helps the learning process.
Driving Onto the Grass Turns Too Sharply
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Summary: A teen driver takes a turn too late and drives onto the grass. Incidents such as these provide a valuable opportunity to discuss and learn from mistakes.

Summary: A teen takes a turn quickly and steers the car slightly off the road. She does not receive any constructive feedback on how she could improve or what she may be doing incorrectly. Moments like this are good opportunities to provide teens with real time feedback on their driving.

 

You Have a Red Light Siren! Pull Over
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Summary: Coming up on a turn, a dad is trying to explain another driver's error to his daughter, but in the process, the teen does not notice that she has a red light. Staying focused on driving, while also being aware of other cars on the road, is an important skill for teens to develop.

Summary: A dad is on his cell phone when an emergency siren approaches. The teen driver asks what she should do, and the dad attempts to explain while he remains on his phone, causing confusion. The clip shows that it is important for parents' first priority to be instructing their teen. New drivers are not fully aware of what to do in certain situations.

 

 
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