As a parent of three grown children, I still remember when each of them got a driver’s license. I was happy for them and knew how excited they were about this new level of independence. I also felt the fear of letting them behind the wheel on their own.
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers in the United States. It’s critical that parents be engaged in their teen’s process of learning to drive safely, and you have an ally in AAA. For over 80 years, AAA has led the way in driver training and education programs.
At AAA, our driver training programs and instructors are influenced by the extensive research the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has done and will continue to do around teen driving, as well as distracted, drunken and drugged driving. Our goal is simple: to create lifelong safe drivers.
Even before your teen starts thinking about a learner’s permit, we offer a free, pre-permit program for teens and parents, Dare to Prepare. This 90-minute program is designed for 14- to 15-year-olds and their parents. The objective is to initiate conversation between you and your teen about safe driving before driver’s education classes are taken or a permit is obtained.
Then, as you begin to think about formal driver training, AAA recommends using a qualified, professional driving instructor. AAA Driving School program offerings vary by state. They range from complete driver training curricula that include classroom instruction, behind-the-wheel instruction, in-car observation times, guest speakers and parent classes, to online defensive driving and traffic school courses created by professional instructors. All programs are licensed by state departments of motor vehicles.
In addition, AAA offers resources to guide parents through the process at our teen driver safety website: TeenDriving.AAA.com. There you’ll find specific information based on where you live and at what point in the process you and your teen are – from preparing to drive through the learner’s permit and solo driving.
Go to AAA.com/DrivingSchool to find out about available programs near you.