Building Safe Driving Habits for Teen Drivers

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USAA’s 2020 Safe Driving and Technologies Report confirms conventional wisdom that older drivers tend to demonstrate safer behavior on the road than their younger counterparts.


Parents can play a key role in helping teens become safe drivers.

15-18 Year Olds: Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens 15-18 years old in the U.S., ahead of all other injuries, disease or violence. (Source: NHTSA)

Teen drivers have crash rates nearly four times those of drivers 20 and older per mile driven. (Source: IIHS)


Risk Increases: The presence of teen passengers increases the crash risk of unsupervised teen drivers, and the risk increases with more teen passengers. (Source: CDC)


Teen Safe Driving Checklist: How can parents help teen drivers develop safe driving habits for life?

  1. Start Young: Parents should spend time with children in the car to begin educating them on do's and don'ts long before they ever get their permit.

  2. Reinforce Learning: Even if parents outsource driver training to another instructor, parents should still take an interest in the curriculum—conversations will help the lessons take hold.

  3. Take Advantage of Technology: Enroll new drivers in safe driving programs which can incentivize good driving behavior.

  4. Keep Eyes on the Road: Parents should reinforce the notion that the car is a hands-free phone zone.

  5. Lead by Example: It may not always look like it, but children are observing parents when they are driving.

  6. Give Them Skin in the Game: Consider telling children covered by the parent’s auto insurance policy that in the event of an at-fault accident, they'll be responsible for covering the deductible or any resulting increase in the premium.


Parents can be the biggest influencers on teens' choices behind the wheel. Please visit USAA’s Parent and Teen Safe Driving Agreement for more details on how to keep teenagers safe on the road.


*Click the Iink below for a larger preview of the Teen Safe Driving Tips Infographic