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October 21, 2013

Teen Driving for Parents" Smarter Teen Driving Starts with Parents

National Teen Driver Safety Awareness Week - October 20-26

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Agree on how to communicate before you drive. For example, establish that the word “right” will be used as the opposite of “left” rather than as an affirmation (“correct”).

Keep it interesting. Change the time of day, driving conditions and routes to allow your teen to gain confidence in diverse situations.

Try out progressively more challenging driving situations. These can include parking garages, urban areas and interstate driving, for example.

Use “commentary driving.” This means having your teen drive and provide feedback about any object or event you encounter that could result in the need to change speed, direction or both.

Be patient. You and your teen may become stressed during these sessions. Remaining relaxed and even-tempered can go a long way toward reducing your new driver’s stress and help improve driving skills.

Be positive. Remember to point out and reinforce good driving behavior.

They Just got their license…Done? Finished? Complete? Well……not quite.

Teen drivers still need their parents’ advice and support—even after they have started driving by themselves. Their crash risk is highest now that they are driving on their own, so parents should still be coaching them behind the wheel, guiding their learning and monitoring where, when and with whom they drive. AAA recommends parents and teens establish a “parent/teen driving agreement” that sets expectations and clearly defines consequences. Sample agreements can be found at www.teendriving.aaa.com.    

As a leader in driver education for nearly eight decades, AAA has a wide range of tools available to help parents simplify the learning-to-drive process including parent-teen driving agreements, licensing information and a free web-based parent support e-newsletter program created in partnership with the National Institutes of Health. Visit www.teendriving.aaa.com to learn more about the resources for parents and new teen drivers.

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