What Educators Need to Know
Helping You Reach Teens
Teens need to be aware of the challenges involved in learning to drive. A driver's greatest lifetime risk of a fatal crash occurs in the first 6 to 12 months after receiving a license. That's why we need to do all we can to prepare them for independent driving and then continue to monitor and support them.
Teen drivers (ages 16 to 19) are involved in fatal crashes at four times the rate of adult drivers (ages 25 to 69). There are many factors that come into play. Mostly, it's simple skill deficiency. Three critical driving errors are in the causal chain of events in the majority of serious teen crashes: 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. We need to work to dispel the myth that most teen crashes are caused by aggressive driving or thrill-seeking. And we need to emphasize higher order skills, such as scanning and speed management in driver training programs.
As experienced educators, you understand teen development. You know teens want to learn new things, gain skills, and broaden their life experience at an incredible rate each and every day. They are "trying on" different roles and pursuing interests they may want to continue into adulthood. They also may be pushing limits and rebelling but hopefully not when they are behind the wheel of a car. This is a key message we hope you can help us convey: "It's OK to rebel, but it's not OK to rebel behind the wheel of a car."Learn more: