Recent Tragedies Underscore Risks for Young Drivers

AAA offers ways to combat upsurge in teen crashes

Phoenix, March 15, 2013. Recent tragedies in Texas, Ohio and Illinois have put a spotlight on the dangers of teen driving. As a leader in driver safety, AAA would like to offer ways to help keep teens safe on the road.

“Out of all motorists, teens are the most likely to be involved in a crash,” said Linda Gorman, director of communications and public affairs for AAA Arizona. “AAA urges parents to get involved and stay involved with teens driving during their most dangerous time on the road.”

To keep teen drivers safe, AAA offers the following tips to parents:

  • Set and enforce rules. State laws help place teens in lower-threat situations, but parents should determine driving limits and responsibilities that are right for their teens. Limit night driving, multiple passengers, electronic distractions and other factors that significantly increase crash risk. A parent-teen driving agreement can help this effort. Learn More.
     
  • Get involved and stay involved. Parents should start talking to their teen about driving before a teen earns his or her learner’s permit, and should stay involved once a teen earns his or her license and becomes an independent driver. During the learning-to-drive process, parents should progressively expose teens to more challenging driving conditions to include driving at night, in inclement weather, on unfamiliar roads and in traffic.
  • Communication is key. Parents should keep an open line of communication with teens, and make sure your teen knows that if they need help, advice or a ride, they can call you at any time. Extend this offer often and let your teen know that you are always available, and that they will not be judged or punished should they need your help.

AAA offers a variety of tools and resources that can help keep teen drivers safe. Permit Prep 101 is a free 90-minute workshop that offers information on traffic laws and Arizona’s graduated drivers’ license. Insurance discounts are available with teenSMART, a computer-based driver safety program that makes a teen driver three times safer on the road, and driver-ZED is a computer-based DVD software program that helps novice drivers recognize and avoid driving hazards.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), traffic crashes continue to be the leading cause of deaths for teens. 

AAA is an advocate for the safety and security for the motoring public. For more information on the club’s advocacy efforts, visit www.az.aaa.com/teendriver.

AAA Arizona, the Arizona affiliate of AAA, provides automotive, insurance and travel services to more than 825,000 Arizona members. Annually, AAA’s Roadside Assistance responds to more than 450,000 calls for help on Arizona roadways. The auto club also provides insurance, travel, auto repair, discounts and financial services to AAA members. Since its founding in 1927, AAA Arizona has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.