AAA Survey Says Parents Aren’t Preparing Teens to Drive
A study conducted by AAA found that of 142 driving instructors surveyed, 65 percent say that a lack of parental involvement has caused teens to face more difficulties and dangers when learning to drive and when they’re behind the wheel by themselves or with friends.
According to a report by WKRN and WATE, driving instructors say that the three most common mistakes teens make while trying to drive include speeding, driving while distracted, and failing to properly scan the roadway with their eyes.
Tennessee’s Public Affairs Director for AAA says that it’s critical for parents to re-engage in the learning process to help teens succeed in learning good and safe driving habits. In addition, she says that it’s important for parents to get a good example behind the wheel for their teens to follow.
Research shows that teens who have parents that set strict driving limits are involved in fewer crashes and receive fewer traffic violations than teens with more relaxed restrictions or no restrictions at all.
AAA says that in addition to setting good driving examples for teens, they can also benefit from enrolling in driver education programs to get hands-on experience and lessons from qualified instructors.
How Can Parents Help Teens Become Better Drivers?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that parents are one of the most important “safety features” for teen drivers. Auto accidents are a major risk for teens—in fact, car crashes are the number one risk to their health in the United States. More than 2,000 teens are killed every year in car accidents, and the majority of those accidents are due to driver inexperience.
Parents can help their teens get off to good starts as drivers by:
- Enforcing state driving laws
Upon reaching their 15th birthdays, teens are allowed to obtain learner’s permits that grant them permission to legally drive with a parent or guardian in the car. However, teens don’t get full driving privileges upon turning 16 in Tennessee. The state of Tennessee uses a graduated license program, with intermediate restricted licenses preventing teens from having more than one passenger in their vehicles and making it illegal to drive between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. As a parent, it’s up to you to make sure your child abides by these restrictions.
- Practicing driving scenarios and conditions
Although passing a learner’s permit test and restricted license driving test show basic competency, there are still many aspects of driving that your teen may not know when he or she hits the road. Take the time to teach your teen various driving scenarios, including driving in the rain, driving on highways and interstates, and driving at night. The more scenarios your teen encounters and successfully navigates, the more confident and skilled he or she will be behind the wheel.
- Practicing safe driving habits to set a good example
As a parent, your behavior doesn’t just impact you—it also impacts your children. Every time you buckle up, drive at or below the speed limit, use your turn signal, and come to a complete stop at a stop sign, you help reinforce good driving habits in your children. The sooner you begin teaching them good driving habits and providing good examples, the more likely those habits will stick with them for life.
Although young drivers aged 15 to 24 make up only 14 percent of the U.S. population, they account for 30 percent of the costs associated with motor vehicle injuries. In addition, drivers aged 16 to 19 years old are more likely to be involved in car crashes than any other age group, with their risk being more than triple that of drivers who are 20 or older. When teens don’t have the experience and positive role models to make good decisions behind the wheel, their risks of being involved in or causing accidents increases significantly.
At Matt Hardin Law, our Nashville auto accident attorneys know that teens need thorough and hands-on training and education to be good drivers, but we also know that teens aren’t always at fault for crashes. If your teen was injured in a car accident that was caused by a negligent driver, you may be eligible to receive compensation for his or her injuries. Get in touch with our legal team today to find out your options—just dial (615) 200-1111 or complete a free online consultation form.