Most parents are nervous about their teenager driving a
car. As a parent, you are right in your concern. While teenagers only account
for 6% of all drivers (6 out of 100), young drivers ages 15 to 20 are
involved in 13% of fatal crashes (13 out of 100).1
Most teens learn to drive by taking driver's
education classes. While teens are
learning to drive, they need to get as much experience as possible with another
adult in the car. Not all parents have the temperament to do this, though. If
you find yourself screaming at your teen or making sarcastic remarks, ask
another adult family member or friend to help out.
Don't let your
teen drive alone—even after he or she gets a license—until your teen has had
enough experience and until you as a parent feel comfortable with your teen's
driving skills. Also, make sure your teen has enough supervised experience
driving in adverse conditions, such as rain or snow or at night, before you
allow him or her to drive in these conditions unsupervised.
things about driving that parents need to emphasize:
Don't eat, use a cell phone, or take your eyes
off the road for even a moment while you are driving. Even using the radio can
distract drivers and cause accidents. Headphones should never be worn by
Drive defensively. Look out for other
Make sure your car (tires, brakes, etc.) is in safe
Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is
both dangerous and illegal. Riding in a car with a driver under the influence
Don't drive when you are
Seat belts must always be worn by the driver and
Remember to always set a good example for your child.
National Center for Statistics and Analysis, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (2007). Young drivers.
Traffic Safety Facts. Available online:
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.