1 in 6
newly licensed teens will get in a crash within the first 6 months.1
The more you talk
to your kids about safe driving, the safer and more responsible they'll be behind the wheel.
What to look for:


Teens tend to drive too fast for road conditions.

And are more likely to speed than adults.2

If you learn that your kids are speeding, talk to them about why and figure out a solution (or consequence for this kind of behavior) together.

2Harsh Braking

Teens fail to recognize and respond to hazards.2

three cars

The number of car lengths teens should leave between them and the car in front of them.

Remind your kids to constantly scan the road for hazards and keep a safe distance from other cars on the road.

3Distracted Driving

Teens are 3X more likely to crash or nearly crash while texting.3

1 out of 3 teens admit to texting or emailing while driving.4

Distracted driving includes:

Reaching for a water bottle

Talking to passengers

Putting on makeup

Putting on makeup

Looking at an accident

Looking at an accident

Looking at the GPS


Changing the radio

Make sure your teen knows distracted driving isn't just about texting... it's anything that takes your eyes off the road for more than two seconds.

4Late Night & Weekend Driving


Weekends claim more teens' lives than all weekdays combined.5

Teens are more likely to get in an accident between the hours of 9pm and 3am.5

Most states have graduated license laws that restrict new drivers from being on the road after a certain time. Know your state's laws and enforce them with your teens.

5Drinking and Driving

8% of teens admit to drinking and driving.4

24% admit to riding with a driver who has been drinking.4

24 percent
Even moderate amounts of alcohol (below the legal level) can dramatically increase a teen driver's risk of a fatal crash. Reinforce that no drinking and driving means no alcohol, period.

6Too Many Passengers

For each additional teenage passenger, the risk of a teen driver dying in an accident goes up.4

Graduated License laws restrict teen drivers from taking along their friends. Know your state's laws and consider imposing passenger restrictions of your own until your teen gains more experience.


Now that you know what to look for, here are some tips for successfully talking to your kids about safe driving:
Lead by example: Drive safely when your teen is in the car.

Get involved in your teen's driving education: Make sure they're putting in enough hours on the road.

Stay involved: Once your teen has their license, don't relax the rules too much.

Know and reinforce your state's GDL laws: They're proven to help, and in many cases, parents are the laws' main enforcers.

Be supportive: Take a coaching approach that sets expectations, gives clear instruction and encourages good behavior.

And last but not least, encourage your teen to sign a safe driving contract: Download the Travelers Teen Driving Contract.

  1. Changes in Collision Rates Among Novice Drivers During the First Months of Driving. Accident Analysis and Prevention. September 2003
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Teen Drivers: Fact Sheet October 2, 2012
  3. Virginia Tech Transportation Institute
  4. Youth Risk Behavior Survey 2011
  5. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Fatality Facts 2011