• AAA Teen Driving Information
     
    Every day, car crashes end more teen lives than cancer, homicide and suicide combined. And many of these teens are killed as passengers of other teen drivers. Research shows that riding with older siblings, teenage neighbors and siblings of friends increases your child’s risk of being in a crash. Even the best and brightest teens have increased risk of being involved in a deadly crash compared with drivers who have more experience.
     
    You can make a differenceAccording to research, teens value the opinions of their parents most of all (even if it doesn’t always seem like it). That’s why understanding the facts and risks associated with driving and sharing your knowledge are so important during this process.
     
    Fact: Car crashes kill teens. Based on miles driven, teens are involved in three times as many fatal crashes as all other drivers. Talk to your teen. Emphasize that driving is risky and should be taken seriously.
    Get the facts...Reduce the risks associated with teen driving

    Now is the time to begin a potentially life-saving conversation with your teen. Understanding the risks and knowing the facts will help you to set rules, consistently enforce those rules and model safe and responsible driving. Don’t let the opportunity slip through your fingers. Your actions make a significant difference.

    You play a critical role in your teen’s learning-to-drive process. Here are some important actions you can take at this stage.

    Evaluate your teen’s readiness. Talk with your teen about personal responsibility, ability to follow rules and any other concerns before beginning the learning-to-drive process.

    Testimonial of a concerned parent

    Get informed. A lot has changed since you earned your driver's license. Graduated driver licensing (GDL), driver education, license restrictions and supervised practice driving are all part of today’s licensing process. And the state sets parameters throughout a three-stage licensing process for young drivers, such as times of day they can drive and how many passengers they can carry.

    Dare to Prepare - what you and your teen need to know before they driveAAA can help you understand what is involved in earning a license in Missouri. A great place to start is with Dare to Prepare, an online workshop that gives you the basics on the licensing process.

    Start talking now. You have acquired “road wisdom” over the years – insight you’ll want to share, because it could save your teen from having to learn things the hard way. Talk about the learning-to-drive process and various factors involved.

    • What does it take to be a safe driver? What do you do?
    • When will your teen start driving?
    • What rules and responsibilities, such as paying for fuel and insurance, will your family have once your teen starts driving?

    The more issues you address early, the safer and smoother the whole process will be. AAA offers StartSmart, a set of research-based e-newsletters you can use to guide discussions with your teen throughout the entire process.FACT: Car crashes kill teens

    Focus on passenger safety. Even though your teen isn’t driving yet, traffic crashes are a real danger. Crash risks begin to increase at age 12. Talk to your teen about:

    • Always buckling up.
    • Not riding with a teen driver without your advance permission.
    • Being a safe passenger with teen and adult drivers.

    Be involved. When you’re behind the wheel, talk about what you see (road signs, pedestrians, other vehicles, etc.) that could result in the need to change speed, direction or both. Have your teen comment, too. Maintain an ongoing dialogue about your teen’s driving, appropriately restrict driving privileges and conduct plenty of supervised practice driving. Missouri requires that parents and their teens conduct 40 hours of supervised practice driving, but AAA recommends 100 hours. AAA provides tips and advice on how to conduct effective supervised practice driving.

    Be a good role model. Your teen has been watching your driving habits for the last decade or so. And as your teen begins the learning-to-drive process, that focus will likely increase. So, make changes in your driving to prevent any poor driving habits from being passed on. Show you take driving seriously.

    • Always wear your safety belt.
    • Obey traffic laws.
    • Do not use a cell phone while driving.
    • Watch your speed.
    • Don’t tailgate.
    • Use your turn signals.
    • Don’t drive when angry or tired.