Teen Driver Safety


Students everywhere have been counting down until this day — the start of summer vacation! School may be out of session for the season, but roadside dangers don’t take summers off. Historically, Memorial Day kicks off what is known as the 100 Deadliest Days for teen drivers, a time when teen crash deaths increase by an average of 15% according to AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

Here at Doherty Insurance, we understand the risks associated with getting behind the wheel and want to do our part to keep your teen safe on the road. Here are a few strategies to talk about with your teen to help them drive safer this summer, and always.

Be Prepared Before You Go

After you hand over the keys to your teen, they may be anxious to hit the road to catch up with friends. However, it’s important to emphasize to your teen that they should get situated before pulling out on the open road. These three steps are a great place to start:

  1. Buckle up. It’s the law.

  2. Adjust seat to proper position. Your chest should be 10 inches from the steering wheel and you should have a slight bend in your knees and elbows.

  3. Fix the mirrors. Just like seat position, the mirrors need to be adjusted for each driver. The rearview mirror should be positioned so you can view the entire rear window and side mirrors should barely show the side of the car.

Limit Distractions

We know teens and their cell phones go together like peanut butter and jelly, but they will have to separate when behind the wheel. Cell phones are a top distraction for teens, along with talking to passengers and looking for something in the car.

  1. Put your phone away. Place your phone in a purse or the glove compartment. You should also put your phone on silent or do not disturb while driving. You can safely use your phone again once you reach your destination.

  2. Secure all items. A water bottle rolling around at your feet is not only distracting, it is dangerous. Stow any loose items so they don’t move around while driving.

  3. Limit number of passengers. In Massachusetts, there are restrictions on passengers for new drivers. But if your teen is legally allowed to drive with passengers, the number of people in a car should be limited as the likelihood of a crash increases with each added person.

  4. Focus on the road. Always be aware of the task at hand. Watch for pedestrians in crosswalks, look before changing lanes and be alert at intersections.

  5. Never drive tired or impaired. Driving impaired by drugs or alcohol is not only illegal but extremely dangerous. Driving while tired can also have similar effects on an individual and can increase the likelihood of an accident.

Be Alert

During the summer months, not only are more teens out on the road but the warmer weather also brings out pedestrians, bicyclists, and more children playing outside.

  1. Stop for pedestrians. When approaching crosswalks and intersections, always look for pedestrians and stop to allow them to safely cross the street.

  2. Share the road. Watch for bicyclists and motorcyclists when making turns, changing lanes, and pulling out of parking lots.

  3. Be aware of your surroundings. Pay attention to speed limits and other traffic signs. Be sure to slow down in residential areas as children may be outside are likely to be near the road.

Summer is a time for sun and fun — let’s keep it that way! Talk to your teen about the dangers on the road and how to stay safe behind the wheel with our teen driver safety tips. For more questions about teen driver safety or adding your teen to a current auto policy — contact a Doherty Insurance agent today at 978-475-0260 or by visiting our website.


Doherty Insurance Agency
21 Elm Street
Andover, MA. 01810
Telephone: 978-475-0260
Fax: 978-475-0303