NEW YORK (WWTI) — National Teen Driver Safety Week started on October 17 and AAA is encouraging teen drivers to stay safe while on the road.
According to a press release from AAA, more than 60% of teens got their driver’s license before the age of 18. AAA Driver Training Manager Mike Formanowic stressed the importance of teens learning the rules of the road.
“It is imperative that all new drivers practice driving with a skilled coach through a variety of routes and in different weather conditions before heading out on their own,” Mike Formanowicz said. “Novice drivers shouldn’t let the first time that they drive in the rain or on the highway be at a time when they’re alone.”
Past research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that for every mile driven, new teen drivers ages 16-17 years old are three times as likely as adults to be involved in a deadly crash. To combat this statistic, AAA recommends that regardless of their age when first learning to drive, new drivers should remember to read the road, by following their “READ” acronym.
The “R” stands for “right speed for right now” and focuses on how drivers may have to reduce their speed below the speed limit depending on the weather conditions. The “E” stands for “eyes up and brain on,” reminding drivers to always be scanning the road and keeping their mind focused on the task at hand.
The “A” is used to remind drivers to “anticipate their next move” by being aware of other drivers on the road and having a plan to respond to their decisions. The “D” stands for “donut of space around their vehicle,” which encourages drives to keep a large amount of space on every side of the vechicle.
AAA instructors also offer 5-hour pre-licensing classes virtually to help teach drivers the importance of staying safe while behind the wheel. These classes are offered in addition to AAA’s in-car instruction.
There is also graduated driver licensing systems for teen drivers ages 16 and 17 available throughout the country. The classes help them gradually learn the rules of the road under less risky conditions. The programs require minimum holding periods and practice requirements for teens with learner’s permits, followed by restricted licenses that limit driving at night or with peer passengers.