What we’d tell our 16-year-old selves about driving today

While we were having fun thinking up ways to redesign our Safe Teen Driver website, our team started skipping down memory lane and talking about how the teen driver landscape today is very different from the roads of 15, 25, or 35 years ago.

What advice would your adult self give to your teen self about driving? Would you give helpful driving tips? Spoil the surprise and tell him or her all about new driving technologies?

Here’s what our colleagues’ adult selves would tell their teen selves during their first few months behind the wheel (advice accompanied by a few blast-from-the-past photos above):

  • “I would tell my teen-self to be cautious in an uncontrolled intersection (especially those in a sleepy neighborhood). I was T-boned and my car was totaled. Very scary. And speaking of scary...I would also tell my teen-self to step away from the hair spray.” – Michelle S.

  • “I would tell my teen self to pay attention to how big your car is. Just because you're going slow doesn't mean you won't dent the car if you hit something! Oh, and use your signals! They aren't an accessory.” – Jill M.

  • “I would tell my teen self to slow it down. My parents thought it would be a great idea to allow a 16-year-old to have a sports car for her first car. Not a good idea!” – Melissa W.

  • “I would definitely tell my 16-year old self: Increase that four-second sight distance rule to, let’s say, six seconds. Then maybe you won’t total your first car.” – Shar P.

We want to know what you would say, too! Share your best advice by leaving us a comment.

Speaking of that refreshed website, check out how you can “Drive the Conversation” when talking with your teen about driving. We created the site to help parents guide their teens through the nerve-racking transition from passenger to driver – everything from knowing the steps to licensing, to coaching their kids, to monitoring behaviors once a teen gets licensed.   

by  Sharlyn Petit

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