Teen Driver's Education | Alive at 25 Texas

Driver’s Education

The Benefits of Driver’s Education Programs
Teen drivers are involved in vehicle crashes not because they are uninformed about the basic rules of the road or safe driving practices; rather, studies show teens are involved in crashes as a result of inexperience and risk-taking. Teen drivers, particularly 16- and 17-year-olds, have high fatal crash rates because of their immaturity and limited driving experience, which often result in high-risk behavior behind the wheel. Peer pressure is an especially potent factor. In a recent NHTSA study, teens were two-and-a-half times more likely to engage in potentially risky behavior when driving with a teenage peer versus driving alone. The likelihood increased to three times when traveling with multiple passengers.

Driver’s education programs are designed to teach teen drivers the rules of the road and to help them become safe drivers so they can acquire the necessary driving skills to prepare for and pass the road driving test and, ultimately, obtain a driver’s license. Formal driver education programs exist in almost every jurisdiction in the United States. These programs generally mirror States’ specific driving requirements, which assure novice drivers are being taught information relevant to State requirements. The graduated driver licensing (GDL) system, which identifies driver education as an important component, gives novice drivers experience under adult supervision and protection by gradually introducing the novice driver to more complex driving situations. In fact, multiple studies report that GDL systems reduce the number of teen crashes. But the learning doesn’t stop there. As a parent, it’s essential that you take a proactive role in keeping your teen alive and injury-free throughout the early years of their driving education.

What Can I Do to Keep My Teen Driver Safe on the Road?

Get Involved

  • Know and understand your State’s GDL law.
  • Share important driving tips in these fact sheets for novice drivers with your teenager.
  • Set ground rules and consequences for your teen driver, and get it in writing.
  • Be a role model – practice safe driving habits every time you drive.

Explore Driving School Options

Ask the right questions. Go to the Driving School Association of the Americas’ driving school index for more information on professional driving schools in your State. Parents should also seek driver education programs that meet or exceed the Novice Teen Driver Education and Training Administrative Standards.

Fact Sheets for Novice Teen Drivers

  • Alcohol and Driving (PDF, 266 KB) – In 2016, almost one out of five (20%) teen (age 15-18) drivers involved in fatal motor vehicle traffic crashes had been drinking (.01+ BAC) at the time of the crash.
  • Blindzone Glare Elimination (PDF, 408 KB) – With enhanced mirror settings, you can avoid turning and looking into the blindzones. All that’s required is a glance outside the mirror to see if a car is there.
  • Driver Distractions (PDF, 408 KB) – Although any distraction while driving has the potential to cause a crash, some are particularly hazardous to teen drivers.
  • Efficient Steering Techniques (PDF, 686K B) – Crash statistics indicate that driver errors involving steering techniques are the main causes of crashes where drivers run off the road. Teens are more likely than older drivers to overcompensate when their vehicle drops off the shoulder.
  • Proper Seat Belt Use (PDF, 313 KB) – In 2016, 58 percent of all passenger fatalities of 15- to 18-year-old passenger vehicle drivers were not wearing their seat belts.
  • Risk Management (PDF, 266 KB)- Low-risk drivers are those who identify potential hazards, reduce risk by adjusting their speed or position, and communicate their intentions to others.
  • Visual Search/Perception (PDF, 409 KB) – Scanning helps you anticipate having to change speed or roadway position because of problems ahead, such as vehicles or people that may be in the roadway or signs warning of problems ahead.
  • Work/Construction Zones (PDF, 256 KB) – When approaching a work zone watch for cones, barrels, signs, large vehicles, or workers in bright colored vests to warn you and direct you where to go.

Source: NHTSA

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