Study: Parents to blame for risky teen driving

Parents are less involved in preparing teens for the road, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA).

A new study suggests “quality parental involvement has dropped 65 percent in the last ten years, adding to teen driving challenges. The AAA survey involved more than 140 driving instructors nationwide, some reporting “parents often set a bad example through their own behaviors.” The travel association shared the information in a press release as part of “Teen Driver Safety Week.” From October 16 though 22, the organization highlights specific challenges faced by teens.

“Teen drivers are more likely to have a crash than any other group of drivers behind the wheel,” said AAA traffic safety consultant Matt Nasworthy. “That is why it is important for times like Teen Driver Safety week where we can talk about what causes those crashes, what can they do to change their behavior, what can we do as adults, as other drivers as parents to help keep them safer?”

The survey titled “Skills of Novice Teen Drivers” identified the three most common mistakes made by teens learning how to drive. The mistakes included speeding, distraction and poor visual scanning.

“They get their attention drawn to the front of the vehicle, tunnel vision and avoid using their peripheral vision, checking their mirrors  for dangers around the car,” Nasworthy said.

According to AAA, parents who impose stricter driving limits reported fewer crashes and traffic violations.  Nasworthy said involved parents can make a difference.

“Parents need to get involved. That means talking with their teens often about the dangers of driving, practicing with them in varying conditions,  having a parent/teen driving agreement," said the traffic safety consultant. “It really allows them to take that learning to drive process in steps where they have a certain number of passengers at a certain time. They drive at a certain time. It helps that process.”

Florida follows a graduated license law. Teens must be at least 15 years old to apply for a learner’s license.

Visit to read more about florida’s graduated license program. 

Learn more about teen driver safety through the AAA guide available at