My eldest daughter got her learners permit to drive in Ohio when she was 18.
It’s been fun teaching her the basics of driving. I’m not worried about her at all. It’s the lack of control and issues with other drivers that concerns me. This is part of growing up and being independent but it scares me so much.
She knows not to text and drive. She knows not to play the radio too loudly. She’s very cautious. She tells me some of her friends are reckless. She mentions an acquaintance who got a big ticket for texting at a red traffic light.
She knows what to do and what not to do. She moved out last year and pays her for her own insurance now.
My middle daughter turned 15 1/2 and recently took the required classroom portion of drivers education, then completed the state computerized permit test. She completes her driving portion of required drivers ed in January, after completing at least 20 hours with parents.
Every time I get behind the wheel of our minivan, I’m teaching my kids about quick decisions, defensive driving, road conditions, and who is breaking the driving rules. They’re watching me and listening and learning how to be “backseat drivers” before they ever get behind the wheel. I narrate what I do and why and I try to model good driving safety and courtesy.
I had a pretty rough time with my parents teaching me how to drive and I want to make good memories with my children, starting in empty parking lots and low traffic areas, moving to slow neighborhood roads, then city roads, onto busier streets as they get more comfortable. I want to be patient and kind and not anxious with my kids.
I still get nervous making left turns and finding a parking space in a busy lot!
Teen Driving Tips
It’s so dangerous to be texting or talking on phones, or even playing with the radio and air conditioner. Don’t reach down for a fallen item while driving! Even insects inside cars are a hazard. Pull over when and where it is safe to deal with distractions.
Be careful about speed, especially in road conditions that are not ideal. Rain, fog, ice, snow call make it more dangerous, even at lower speeds. Knowing the average speeds for certain areas is helpful, and staying under those until a posted sign is visible is helpful. Like residential areas are often 25 MPH and city roads are usually around 35 MPH. It’s important to try not being in a hurry, so we’re not tempted to speed or be reckless when we drive to an appointment.
This really just comes with experience. The first day on the road alone, my eldest daughter got her side mirror knocked off by a hit and run driver. It’s so hard to try to notice everything in the periphery and anticipate what other drivers might do.
It’s important to know what to do in case of emergency. Don’t panic! Depending on state law, pull off the road or into median lane so as not to block traffic. Check everyone for injuries. Call response authority. Call parents or guardians or loved ones. Check vehicles for damage. Take pictures of damage. Exchange contact and insurance info. Call insurance to report. Repair or replace damages.
Cars don’t just go forever. They need regular check-ups just like people and pets do. Changing oil, checking and rotating tires for proper air pressure and tread, replacing windshield wipers, and more are all for safety and good upkeep.
Driver’s Ed Resources
- Driver’s Ed Requirements by State
- Student Driver Printable Sign
- Student Driver Car Magnets
- Driver Ed in a Box–complete parent/teen driver training program for both classroom and in-vehicle phases offered by Driver Education Supplies & Training. The program provides parents with educational materials and training tools necessary to train their teens to be safe, collision-free drivers.
- Driver-ZED–Full-screen, full-motion, real-life interactive video puts you in the driver’s seat! You’ll use your eyes and brain to spot trouble before it happens. Spot all the risks and handle them right, and you’ll score a perfect 100.
- National Driver Training Institute–Comprehensive, step-by-step curriculum will guide you through all phases of driver education and training with the goal of “creating safe drivers for life.”
- Zutobi is built like a game so teens can earn points and compete against friends all while learning important information. The app offers over 450 state-specific questions that are almost identical to the real test.
*You can get discounts off insurance or tax credits for driving courses and good grades.
Some driving statistics:
According to the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs survey, for every 100 students using NDTI’s parent-taught driver education program:
- 8 were ticketed for speeding,
- 8 were involved in accidents,
- 6 were injured in automobile accidents,
- 1 was ticketed for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and
- there were no fatalities.
With teens obtaining driver’s licenses during the summer more than any other season and an average of six teens dying every day from motor vehicle injuries, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2018’s Best & Worst States for Teen Drivers.
In order to determine the safest and least costly driving environments for U.S. teenagers, WalletHub compared the 50 states based on 23 key metrics. The data set ranges from number of teen driver fatalities to average cost of car repairs to presence of impaired-driving laws.
|Best States for Teen Drivers||Worst States for Teen Drivers|
Best vs. Worst
- Vermont has the fewest teen driver fatalities per 100,000 teens, 1.83, which is 10.5 times fewer than in Wyoming, the state with the most at 19.30.
- Nebraska has the lowest share of major roads in poor condition, 5.00 percent, which is 8.8 times lower than in Connecticut, the state with the highest at 44.00 percent.
- Hawaii has the lowest premium increase after adding a teen driver to a parent’s auto-insurance policy, 8.10 percent, which is 18.9 times lower than in Rhode Island, the state with the highest at 152.70 percent.
- Alaska has the fewest vehicle miles traveled per capita, 6,826, which is 2.4 times fewer than in Wyoming, the state with the most at 16,457.
Please view the full report and your state’s rank here.
It’s important to have conversations with our older kids, teens, and young adults about driving safety.
I feel confident in my teens to drive safely when they pull out of our driveway alone for the first time. They take a piece of my heart and so many prayers with them!