AAA: School’s open — drive carefully


As schools open across the country, more novice teen drivers will be on the road. AAA East Central reminds parents to make sure young motorists have the tools they need to drive safely and responsibly. Per miles driven, teen drivers are three times more likely than drivers aged 20 and over to be killed in a crash. In addition to modeling good behavior, parents should enroll young drivers in the AAA Driving School.

“AAA simplifies the driving education process for parents of new and future teen drivers,” said Kevin Andrews, driving school director, AAA East Central. “A quality driver education program taught by professionals can help teens learn the rules of the road with valuable online and behind-the-wheel instruction time.”

AAA prepares teens for the road by offering AAA’s How to Drive Online which delivers the rules and essential elements of safe driving for young motorists. This online program encourages teens to develop safe driving habits that can protect them as they learn the rules of the road.

More Tips for Parents:

– Driving with passengers. Teen drivers’ crash risks multiply when they have teen passengers. Set limits and enforce them.

– Driving at night. Night driving is more dangerous because of limited visibility, fatigue, and impaired drivers on the road. This is especially a risky time for teens. Limit the time novice drivers spend behind the wheel at night.

– Not wearing a seat belt. Wearing a seat belt greatly reduces the risk of being hurt or killed in a crash. Make a rule: everyone buckles up for every trip.

– Speeding. Speeding is a leading factor in crashes for teens and adults. Teens need to follow posted speed limits and parents should set a good example.

– Distracted driving. Teen passengers are the biggest distraction to teen drivers, but cell phones come in second. Many teens admit to using their phone while behind the wheel despite the dangers. Make a family rule covering these and other distractions that everyone follows.

– Impaired driving. Driving impaired from alcohol or drugs puts everyone at risk. Enforce strict zero tolerance rules for teens and be a good role model.

As a part of AAA’s School’s Open – Drive Carefully campaign, AAA also offers the following advice for motorists to keep children safe as they navigate their way through school zones:

– Ditch distractions. Research shows that glancing away from the road for just two seconds doubles the chances of crashing.

– Stay alert. Don’t rush into and out of driveways. Expect pedestrians on the sidewalk, especially around schools and in neighborhoods. Mind vehicle blind spots, check for children on the sidewalk, in the driveway, and around the vehicle before slowly backing up.

– Brake for buses. It may be tempting to drive around a stopped school bus, but not only is it dangerous – it is against the law.

– Watch for bikes. Children on bicycles are often unpredictable, so expect the unexpected. Motorists should slow down and allow at least three feet of passing distance between their vehicle and bicyclists.

– Plan ahead. Leave early and build in extra time for congestion. If possible, modify routes to avoid school zones.

– Look for AAA School Safety Patrollers. With more than 600,000 AAA School Safety Patrollers at 31,000 schools across the country, patrollers are a sure sign that school zone is approaching.

AAA East Central is a not-for-profit association with 71 local offices in Kentucky, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia serving 2.7 million members. News releases are available at Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Traffic crashes are leading cause of death for US teens ages 16-19

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