So it’s time to start learning to drive! It’s an exciting time and there is so much information to take in, plus there are the steps to getting a license, GDL laws, and so much to learn! As you and your family begin navigating the path to becoming a licensed driver, here is some information to help you find your way and also help your parents make the transition from driving you around all the time, to helping you gain independence. This information is designed to be learned together, discussed, and shared with parents.
- Teen drivers are three times likelier to be in a fatal crash than older drivers.
- Driver inexperience is the number one cause of teen crashes. This is true no matter how well a teen drives, how well they do in school, or how responsible they are. So, it’s important to make sure teens get as much experience as possible, in all sorts of conditions, before they drive on their own.
- Learner permit lengths of 9 to 12 months were associated with 26% lower incidence for 16-year-olds and 17% lower incidence for 17-year-olds1.
- Nighttime driving restrictions starting at 10 PM or earlier were associated with 19% lower 16-year-old fatal crash incidence after adjusting for confounders1.
- Research found about 53% of teens who talked on the phone behind the wheel talked to a parent. Teens, let your parents know when you get behind the wheel and when you expect to be at your destination. Read the article here>
- A recent report found that two-thirds of teens mirrored parents’ distracted driving habits2. See the infographic>
- Teens report that many times they text behind the wheel because parents expect them to answer back quickly. Parents, if your teen may be driving, be patient with their response time. See the news clip>
- Masten, R. Foss, and S. Marshall. Graduated driver licensing program component calibrations and the association with fatal crash involvement. February, 2013.
- Liberty Mutual & Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), 2012. Teen driving survey.
Get stats and information on preventing teen driver crashes.
- Distractions – such as cell phones/texting and other teens in the car
- Driving at night
- Speeding and Street Racing
- Not wearing a seat belt
- Driving under the influence
Let’s Talk About GDL
- Driver Education consists of coursework and supervised driving
- Provisional Licensing where teen is driving in a controlled environment (passenger limitations and nighttime driving restrictions)
- Full driving privileges
It is important to remember that GDL Laws are the minimum prescribed laws to keep teens safe, but there are additional steps and recommendations you can and should take to help prevent car crashes.
- Be the driver you want your teen to be.
- Make sure everyone in your family abides by the zero tolerance for cell phone use while driving.
- Know that each passenger, including siblings, in a teen’s car increases the likelihood of a crash.
- Don’t push a teen who, for whatever reason, is not ready to drive safely.
- Demand full seat belt compliance by every driver and every passenger.
- Be prepared to support your teen as they gain experience and learn to make mature decisions behind the wheel.
- Allow your teen as much driving practice as possible, with you present.
- When you are driving with your teen in the car, talk through what you are doing and why, such as checking the mirrors, steps to changing lanes, looking around before accelerating at a green light, etc.
Get Tim Hollister’s book, Not So Fast>