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Teen driver holding his drivers license

5 Common Risks for Teen Drivers

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  1. Passengers
    • Know the laws in your state and restrict how many young passengers are in the car with your teen driver.
  2. Driving at Night
    • Crash risk is higher when teen drivers drive at night.
  3. Seatbelt Misuse
    • Ensure driver and all passengers buckle up every ride no matter the distance of the trip.
    • Wearing a seatbelt properly and every time drivers and passengers are in the car reduces the risk of death and injury.
  4. Inexperience Behind the Wheel
    • Practice with a teen driver in various road conditions and environments.
  5. Distracted Driving
    • Make sure a teen driver knows the laws regarding cell phone and other portable device.

Key Points for Parents

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The single most important step you can take to protect the life of your teen is to be actively involved in the learning-to-drive experience. Supervised driving-practice with you in the passenger seat as coach-is actually some of the safest driving your teen will do.

By teaching under low-risk conditions and gradually introducing new roads and traffic conditions, you help your teen gain needed experience through practice driving. Supervised driving will also help you gauge your teen’s progress towards solo driving. Even though your teen might be old enough to get a license, you guide the learning-to-drive process and ultimately decide when your teen is ready.

  • Make a Promise to Each Other:
    • Click here for the parent-teen driving agreement. (This is a PDF, how do we link to it?)
  • Ask yourself:
    • Can you dedicate several hours a week to practice driving with your teen?
    • Are you committed to coaching in different driving conditions and at different times of the day?
    • Are you patient enough to provide constructive feedback?
    • Are you a good role model?
  • When it’s Time to Practice:
    • Practice!
    • Select a goal for each session
    • Take regular breaks
    • Agree on how to communicate before you drive
    • Keep it interesting and progressive with diverse situations (parking garage, urban areas, highway, etc.)
    • Use “commentary driving” by providing instruction as you go without causing too much distraction
    • Be patient
    • Be positive

Choosing a Driving School

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  • When choosing a driving school, look for one that focuses on safety, not just passing the driver’s license test. Look for:
    • Newer and well-maintained practice vehicles
    • Professionally trained instructors
    • Up-to-date training materials
    • Those that encourage and facilitate parental involvement
  • To learn more about Driver Education (AAA Street Smart) and online driving course availability in your state click here.

How to Obtain a Driver’s License

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Use the links below to learn about your state's requirements for teen driver licensing.

Connecticut Washington DC Delaware Indiana Kansas Kentucky Maryland
New Jersey Ohio Oklahoma Pennsylvania South Dakota Virginia West Virginia

What to Know About Car Insurance

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New teen drivers can add thousands of dollars to your insurance policy. Discounts may be available for taking a safety course, being a good student, or by combining multiple policies.

  • Connect with a local AAA Insurance agent to start planning coverage and determine if your new driver qualifies for discounts.
  • Since the risk of crashes is significantly higher for teen drivers, their insurance rates may be higher than their parents’ rates.
  • TeenSmart virtual driving simulation program can provide discounts on insurance and provide teens with skills needed to stay safe behind the wheel.