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Be the Driver You Want Your Teen to Be

Each year, we lose nearly 4,000 young lives in preventable car crashes, and 50% of teen driving fatalities are passengers being driven by a teen driver. Parents are the number one influencer of their teens’ attitudes and behaviors. Your choices can and do influence your teen’s safety behind the wheel.

Reckless and Distracted Driving Crashes Are 100% Preventable

Be the driver you want your teen to be. It starts by actively role-modeling the driving behaviors you want your kids to follow. Impact Teen Drivers has created Parent-Teen Workshops for parents and their teens to attend together, or for parents to attend solo to learn some of the evidence-based strategies they can use to keep their teen safe on the road.

If you are interested in attending one of our parent programs or bringing our evidence-based programs to your school or community, please click here to contact us or call (916) 733-7432.


Parent Classroom Video

Remember to role model good behaviors. Your choices matter.


Under Your Influence – GDL Laws

GDL laws save lives. Know and enforce the GDL laws with your teen.

Graduated Driver licensing Laws

Just like you did not put your toddler on the fastest bike with no training wheels as they were learning to ride, your teen should not be put behind the wheel of a car without crucial driving experience.
Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) Laws are designed to minimize the highest risk situations for a new driver while they gradually and safely gain experience behind the wheel.
The highest risk situations for a new driver include:
– Nighttime Driving
– Driving with Teen Passengers
GDL programs provide a phased approach to teens becoming fully licensed drivers. GDL laws have been adopted in all 50 states.

There’s more information on your state’s GDL laws here.

10 Tips for keeping your teen driver safe

01 | Buckle Up!

It takes two seconds. No matter how far you’re going, your seatbelt must be worn properly each and every ride. It is your best line of defense in a car crash.

02 | Set an Example

You are the number one influencer of your teen’s attitudes and behaviors. This means that as parents, it is important to be the driver you want your teens to be.

03 | Talk About How to Drive Distraction-Free

Teach them to put all distractions away before they start driving. Being safe behind the wheel means two hands on the wheel, eyes on the road, mind on driving, and ears alert.

04 | Teach Them How to Be an Aware and Vocal Passenger

Teach them to be an extra set of eyes for the driver, and make sure they know how to speak up if they feel unsafe inside a car.

05 | Teach Them to Know Their Driver

Choose safety over convenience every ride. It’s important as parents to know who your teen is getting into the car with, how long they have been driving, and their driving history.

06 | Follow the Graduated Driver Licensing Laws

Educate yourself on the provisions of your teen’s license and remember these laws are in place to keep your teen driver safe while they gain experience.

07 | Practice, Practice, Practice!

Your new teen driver needs as much behind-the-wheel practice with you as they can get. After they are a licensed driver, check in to see how they are doing. If they have picked up any bad habits, correct them during the check in.

08 | Discuss Expectations

Talk to other parents about your expectations when you aren’t there. Make sure the parents of your teen’s friends are on the same page with you when it comes to following the rules of the road.

09 | Drowsy Driving is Distracted Driving

Ensure you and your teen understand the importance of getting adequate sleep before driving.

10 | Be an Advocate

Advocate for the Graduated Driver Licensing Laws at your teen’s school. Get the administration on the same page about keeping young drivers safe at school events.

Did you Know?

Novice drivers are at the highest risk of a crash regardless of age. The first year for any new driver is the most dangerous.

Just like any other complex skill we learn in life, driving takes lots of practice! Introduce distractions such as passengers and night-time driving gradually.
Teen drivers are at the highest risk behind the wheel. The crash rate (per mile driven) for 16 year olds is four times that of adult drivers.

Having passengers is a serious distraction for teen drivers. Carrying 3 or more passengers increases the risk of a crash for 16 and 17 year olds three-fold compared to driving alone.


A Parent's Letter

Michelle Johnson lost her son Connor in a car crash that was 100% preventable. She shares the conversations she wishes she had with Connor about being a safe passenger in a car. Parents are the number one influencer of their teens’ attitudes and behaviors—her story conveys the importance of parent role-modeling and engagement.


A Parent's Letter (Spanish)


Join ITD’s Executive Director and host, Dr. Kelly Browning, as she talks about the dangers of reckless and distracted driving among teen drivers and provides life saving strategies through interviews with affected family members and law enforcement.

Search for Impact Teen Drivers on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, or wherever you like to listen.

Parent Podcast: Under Your Influence

Listen to our Under Your Influence podcast series featuring true stories and evidence-based strategies to empower parents and influencers of teens to help keep young people safe on the road.

Teen Podcast: It Won’t Happen to Me

Check out It Won’t Happen to Me, a podcast series detailing the real-life story of Aidan, a teen whose decisions behind the wheel cost the life of another person.