AAA: Parents not involved enough with helping teens learn to drive

Photo: WKRN
Photo: WKRN

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – A new survey by the AAA says parents don’t prepare their teens to drive as well as they did a decade ago. AAA surveyed 142 driving instructors and 65 percent said the decline in parental involvement has made leaning to drive more challenging for teens.

“With all the other challenges teens face learning to drive, it is critical for parents to re-engage in the process,” said Stephanie Milani, Tennessee Public Affairs Director, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Teens can’t succeed safely on the road unless those closest to them make proper training a priority and set a good example behind the wheel.”

Driving instructors also said the top three mistakes teens make when learning to drive are speeding, distraction and poor visual scanning – or driving with tunnel vision and not properly scanning for risks and hazards.

Past research shows teens with parents who impose stricter driving limits had fewer crashes and traffic violations. AAA recommends parents stay actively involved in coaching their teens through learning to drive by:

  • Having conversations early and often about the dangers of speeding and distraction
  • Taking the time to practice driving with their teens in varying conditions
  • Adopting a Parent-Teen Driving Agreement that takes the learning to drive process in stages and sets family rules for the road
  • Setting a good example by minimizing distractions and speeding when driving

AAA also recommends teens should enroll in a driver education program.

More online: AAA Teen Driving