AAA survey shows the top three mistakes made by teen drivers

Posted at 10:51 AM, Oct 17, 2016

A new survey of driving instructors by AAA revealed speeding, distraction and poor visual scanning as the three most common mistakes made by teen drivers.

AAA said teen drivers were involved in nearly 14,000 fatal crashes in the last five years.  Speeding proved to be one of the most deadly mistakes--more than 4,200 of those crashes involved speeding, according to AAA.

“Nearly two-thirds of people injured or killed in a crash involving a teen driver are people other than the teen,” said Mike Formanowicz, AAA WCNY driver training manager. “Involved parents really can help save lives, so it’s important for parents to coach their teens to slow down, as well as to avoid other common mistakes.”

65 percent of instructors reported to AAA that today's parents are worse at preparing their teens to drive compared to a decade ago.  Many instructors also said parents often set a bad example for their children.

According to a survey from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 77 percent of drivers aged 35-55 reported talking on a cell phone while driving.  That's almost ten percent higher than the 68 percent of teen drivers who also admitted to using a cell phone behind the wheel.

AAA recommends parents participate and help teens through the learning-to-drive process.  It suggests parents have regular conversations about the dangers of speeding and distraction, practice driving with teens in varying conditions, set family rules for the road and lead by example with good driving habits.