(AAA) - AAA realizes that teaching your teenager to drive means teaching the single most dangerous skill they may ever learn. Although it may sound scary, AAA can offer teens and their parents some great advice and educational resources to give a greater peace of mind.
Looking at teen crash statistics, it is clear that recent Graduated Licensing Laws have had a positive impact on teen driving fatalities. More needs to be done, however, as motor vehicle crashes remain the leading cause of death for 12-20 year-olds. 14% of all driving fatalities involve a teen driver, while teen only represent 7% of the total driving population. Parents must play a critical role in assuring their teen has had proper classroom and driving instruction. AAA encourages parents to consider GDL laws a baseline to their own "house driving laws."
Novice drivers are more likely to be killed in crashes than adults. In fact, the per-mile fatality rate for 16-year-olds is approximately 10 times that of adults.
- New drivers learn both good and bad driving habits mostly through experience.
- Novice drivers are less likely to stay focused, scan their surroundings effectively, identify potential hazards early, and make tough decisions quickly.
- Teen drivers perceive less risk in specific violations and dangerous situations, but more risk in relatively routine situations.
- Novice drivers usually drive too fast and too close to others, have unrealistic confidence in their own abilities, and leave inadequate safety margins in traffic.
- Teen drivers are less likely to wear their safety belts because they don't view preventive measures as important.
- Teen drivers are more likely to get in a crash when drinking and driving because their lack of experience behind the wheel cannot compensate for their impaired senses and judgment.
- Teens are more likely to overload a car, leading to high fatalities in a crash. Sixty–three percent of fatally injured teen passengers were killed in cars driven by other teens.
- Peer pressure and driver overconfidence lead teens to believe risky driving is rewarding and cool.
10 Common Driving Mistakes
- Excessive speed
- Failure to wear seat belt
- Distraction inside the vehicle
- Inadequate defensive driving techniques
- Incorrect assumptions about other roadway users
- Tailgating or not leaving enough space between vehicles
- Driving while fatigued, angry, or impaired by alcohol or other drugs
- Failure to check blind spot before changing lanes
- Failure to allow enough time or space to merge, leave, or cross traffic.
Welcoming your new driver