Safety | Teens
April 4, 2017

Safe driving reminders for teen drivers and parents

by safe driving teens

These teen driving safety tips can help young drivers and everyone around them stay safer.


If you’re the parent of a new driver, chances are you’re experiencing a new level of nervousness.

What can you do to help your teen driver, and those on the road around them, stay safe? Teach them these driving safety tips:

1. Don’t drive tired.

Drowsy driving is dangerous. Are you a teen who likes to play video games, text friends, surf the web or watch movies till the wee hours of the morning? When school is in session you have to wake up earlier, so remember to go to bed early. Unplug from all your devices at least an hour before bedtime to relax and fall asleep more quickly. Be aware of your level of fatigue. Driving while you’re tired can decrease your reaction time, impair your vision or judgment, and increase your chances of an accident. If you’re too tired to drive, don’t. Call a parent or friend to pick you up.

2. Follow the 10-minute rule.

Running late can cause you to drive faster and less cautiously than you should. Get in the habit of leaving 10 minutes early and avoid the need to speed.

3. Buckle seat belts for everyone in the vehicle.

Make sure all passengers have fastened safety belts before putting the vehicle into drive. Doing this one simple thing could save a life.

4. Limit passengers for teen drivers.

Studies show that teens with passengers are more likely to take risks and be distracted. The more passengers in a vehicle, the higher the fatal crash risk — in fact, the risk doubles with each additional passenger.

5. Turn off the phone.

Do not text or talk on your cellphone while driving. Turn your phone off and put it out of reach. Call or text your parents before leaving school to let them know you will not be answering calls while driving and that you will text when you reach your destination.

6. Driving around schools.

Observe the speed limits around schools. Check posted limits and flashing signs during school hours. Obey school safety patrols and crossing guards’ directions. In addition, many fender-benders happen in the school parking lot. Decrease your risk by coming early or leaving late, when there is less traffic. Practice your skills at backing up and “reverse parking,” backing into a space so that you can pull forward when you leave.

7. Prepare for bad weather.

Extreme weather can be more dangerous for a young driver due to inexperience handling the car in those conditions. Teach your child how to confidently handle weather challenges. Consider sending your teen to a driving school to learn car control techniques in a safe environment, preparing them to manage a skid or hydroplaning incident before they are faced with such challenges alone.


Every year, April is set aside to highlight the dangers of distracted driving. National Distracted Driving Awareness Month is a great time to review some tips for your young driver. If you would like more information on what Monroe Carrell Jr. Children’s Hospital is doing to educate teens, parents, and communities about distracted driving, please click here.


This post was written by Purnima Unni and Emily Riley, who work with Pediatric Trauma Injury Prevention at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt


9 thoughts on “Safe driving reminders for teen drivers and parents”

  1. Michael Robinson says:

    I can really connect with your advice to simply leave early by 10 minutes and how that can help you maintain the speed limits. When I become a dad, I I want my kids to abide by this rule because keeping the speed limit is really important for your safety more than anything else. Thanks again for helping me learn about how to help my future kids drive safely–this has been really beneficial.

  2. Khorae Olivier says:

    I love that you talked about sending your teen to a driving school to learn car techniques in a safe environment. When I was first learning to drive, I was never very sure what to do during bad weather. You did a great job of explaining that a driving school can help them prepare to manage a skid or hydroplaning incident.

  3. Joy says:

    Thanks for reminding that it’s dangerous to drive when tired. My cousin wants to have her own car but she doesn’t know how to drive yet. My dad suggested enrolling in a driving school and shared this article with her.

  4. Insurance Panda (@InsurancePanda) says:

    The bigger issues are distracted driving and watching out for the other guy. It is called defensive driving. The risk encompasses every driver of every age and experience, not just teens. I’ve seen drivers – adults – reading their newspapers as they drove – really. I was taught to keep looking in all directions as I drive. That alone has saved my life at least three times in just the last year alone, as well as saving the lives of innumerable pedestrians who do not know how to cross a street safely. .

  5. Gerty Gift says:

    My little sister is learning how to drive and I am lucky enough to get to teach her. I like what you said about preparing them to drive in bad weather conditions. I feel like this was something that I didn’t learn until there was a foot of snow on the ground and I had to drive myself to school. I will be sure to teach her all about this so that she isn’t surprised when she has to deal with this.

  6. Burt Silver says:

    I really like what you said about buckling the seat belts for everyone in the vehicle. In my opinion, it is really important to check and make sure all the parts of the vehicle are operating and functioning correctly. You wouldn’t want to end up in an accident because your vehicle wasn’t properly checked for basic safety.

  7. Aleshire Mueller says:

    I do agree with your idea of sending a child to a traffic school in order for them to learn about the ways to drive safely during not-so-good days. I do not think I will be able to teach my little sister to do that since I do not usually drive when the weather is bad– I commute. It might be a good idea to enroll her in a driving class as early as now. Thank you!

  8. Jocelyn McDonald says:

    My sister is currently helping her teenage son learn how to drive, and I want to help them be the safest they can. Your article had some great tips for teens and parents for safe driving, and I really liked how you mentioned to leave ten minutes early to any event so you can avoid the need to speed. My sister has some trouble with being a speedy driver, so I’ll be sure to share this advice with her and her son.

  9. Faylinn Byrne says:

    I love how you talked about putting your cellphone out of reach when you are driving. My teenage daughter is reaching the age where she can get her permit, and I am worried about her being on her phone too much. I will need to hire a private instructor to teach her the basics and help her create good habits.

Leave a Reply