You Can Help Your Teen
InexperienceMost teen crashes are caused by three critical driving errors due to inexperience: lack of scanning to detect and respond to hazards, driving too fast for road conditions, and being distracted by something inside or outside the vehicle.
Your role is to make sure that your teen becomes an experienced driver. How? By making sure your teen receives at least 50 hours of supervised practice under a wide variety of conditions while learning to drive, as well as careful monitoring for the first year of driving alone.
This may not be easy. Most teens believe that getting a license means they’re experienced. A recent survey of thousands of teens across the country found only 15 percent of them see their newly-licensed friends as inexperienced, although nearly all are.
Help your teen understand that getting a learner permit and probationary license are first steps, but real experience is earned over time. Having a license only means they have completed the minimum state-required practice hours and generally know how to deal safely with a few traffic situations or know enough to pass a basic test. The best way to gain experience and reduce crash risk? With you, a trained driving instructor, or another trusted adult, as their guide. According to a recent CHOP study that surveyed 945 parents of newly-licensed drivers, 61 percent practiced 50 or more hours with their teen drivers. Although the majority of parents surveyed found practice driving challenging, they still chose to do it.
To learn more about your important role as driving teacher, download Developing Driving Experience and link to Parent As Driving Teacher: A Useful Guide.