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Sep/Oct 2010 Issue

New AAA Web site has tools to empower parents, teen drivers in learning process

With the launch of its new teen driver safety Web site, AAA is empowering parents to get involved with their teens’ learning-to-drive process through a variety of valuable resources.

The interactive site, www.TeenDriving.AAA.com, helps parents and teens manage the complex and critical coming-of-age process by providing users with specific information based on where they live and where they are in the learning process–from preparing to drive (pre-permit) through the learner’s permit and solo driving.

“Parental involvement is critical in developing safe and prepared teen drivers,” said Mike Right, vice president of AAA Public Affairs. “AAA recognizes the learning-to-drive process can be intimidating, particularly for today’s busy families. TeenDriving.AAA.com is a unique and comprehensive teen driver safety Web site that simplifies the process by offering parents the tools they need as they progress through each stage of the process. This makes what can be a daunting task for parents and teens much easier to manage.”

The site features AAA StartSmart, a series of online newsletters and videos based on the National Institutes of Health’s Checkpoints program, which has been scientifically shown to help parents improve teen driver safety and is being offered nationally for the first time. Some of the topics covered in AAA StartSmart’s 18 informative newsletters and web-based videos include:

  • Nighttime driving;
  • Distracted driving;
  • Alcohol and other drugs;
  • Parent-teen driving agreements.

The site also offers an online version of AAA’s Dare to Prepare workshop and lessons from AAA’s Teaching Your Teens to Drive coaching program, both of which assist families who have a young driver or soon will have one.

Parents will find details about graduated driver licensing (GDL) systems in their states, as well as about selecting a driving school and choosing the right vehicle for their teens. Parents will also learn more about some of the common risks associated with teen drivers, including driving with other teen passengers.

For teens, there is a companion site geared specifically for them that offers resources on staying safe behind the wheel. Both the parent and teen sites were expected to be operational by the end of August.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens on a national basis, killing nearly 6,000 young drivers and passengers annually. In 2008 alone, 268 teens ages 16–20 in Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi lost their lives in motor vehicle crashes.

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The new Web site features newsletters, webisodes, online workshops and more to help parents and teen drivers.

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