If you have a teen on the cusp of Driver’s Ed (or even a licensed
teen driver), safety is probably your top concern, as it should be.
But there’s another aspect to teen driving we want you to keep in mind: compliance with local teen driving laws.
Driving laws are different for young drivers, and it’s easy to accidentally break them.
Teen Driving Laws Are Local and Fast-Changing
There are two things you must understand about teen driving laws:
- Teen driving laws are local. We want to emphasize that teen driving rules can differ from one jurisdiction to the next. Be sure you know the local laws, and know the rules can change if your teen crosses city, county, state, or country lines.
- Teen driving laws change often. State legislatures continuously grapple with questions on how best to protect teens while also respecting their freedom. Additionally, local governments handle things like curfew and enforcement. Teen driving laws change often and it’s everyone’s responsibility to keep pace with changes.
To keep tabs on teen driving laws in your jurisdiction, contact the local
DMV, and visit their website often.
DrivingLaws.org also maintains a list of rules by state, but remember to confirm these guidelines with the DMV or local law enforcement.
Mistakes Parents Make with Teen Drivers
Avoid these common traps:
- Don’t teach your teen to drive around the neighborhood when they don’t have the proper permit or license.
- Don’t push a curfew to its limit. (Even if your teen is running an errand for you, they can still get in trouble!)
- Don’t misrepresent the dangers of speeding, texting while driving, reckless driving, driving without a seat belt, or DWI. Even if your teen is “a good kid,” never underestimate the power of peer pressure or youthful folly.
- Don’t assume more people means less trouble. Many jurisdictions have rules about the number of young people allowed in a car together.
- Don’t avoid spending time teaching your teen the rules of the road.
Teens who take the time to learn safe driving skills are less likely to succumb to the inherent dangers of teen driving. Following the rules will also keep them on the right side of the law.
Why Roadway Obedience Really MattersDid you know that states with graduated permitting programs see not only fewer traffic fatalities but also fewer non-traffic-related criminal offenses by young people?
In other words, adhering to these rules can keep kids out of “wrong place, wrong time” scenarios.
Additionally, AAA research found that teens whose parents institute strict driving rules are far less likely to be injured or killed in a car crash.
Talk to your teen drivers and teach them well. It could save their life one day!