Daredevil: A Parent’s Guide to Teen Driving Aggression

It is every parent’s frightening moment – the day their teen gets their driver’s license.

traffic violationIt’s scary because teen drivers are prone to make mistakes. And once they’re behind the wheel, those simple mistakes may have more than simple effects. The combination of a newfound independence and their lack of experience makes teenagers an obviously at-risk group when it comes to driving safety.

As a parent, you might have predetermined notions about what makes teen driving so risky, but you’ll be surprised to find out that there are more violations a teen can make apart from beating the red light or not wearing a seatbelt.

Here are some of them.

They give in to peer pressure

Teens usually overcrowd their cars, cramming five to six people in a cabin only meant for three or four people. Worse yet, the behavior of the passengers often leads to teens driving more aggressively. With crowded passengers, traffic violation punishments or even fatal crashes are higher than when they are driving alone.


Teens overestimate their capabilities to focus on a task. They live with so many distractions and they believe they can easily tune them out. This is not true, especially for newbie teen drivers, who tend to make the most common driving mistake – getting distracted because of doing other things when they’re driving.

Driving under the influence

While driving under the influence of alcohol is a huge problem for drivers of all ages, teenagers are more prone to aggressive driving that result in serious traffic violations or even fatal accidents. Driving under the influence isn’t just against the law; the inebriation also impairs your teen’s reaction time, vision, and coordination abilities.

Too much reliance on driving lessons

Teen drivers only learn the basic driving techniques in a driving lesson, which leaves learning maneuvers like driving on sharp curves or applying the right brakes to real world experience. As a parent, don’t make the mistake of thinking that completing a driving lesson will make your teen a better driver. Instead, make them informed about accident avoidance, including the required speed, proper driving behavior, and hazard prevention.

About the Author

As a New York-based psychologist. Thelma Scott has conducted several seminars tackling adult autism.