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Teens Behind the Wheel

Teaching Teens Proper Driving Tactics

by Jessica Howell

An ideal resource for folks of all ages, the web has become the go-to database for questions and dilemmas on almost any topic. It should come as no surprise then that Ford recently launched a site specifically for new teen drivers - Driving Skills for Life - that uses videos to help drive home the importance of critical factors like hazard recognition, handling, space and speed management.

Troubling stats report that one in five 16-year-old drivers are involved in collisions during their first year of driving. In fact, car accidents are the largest cause of death for teens. It's for this reason that automakers and organizations alike are pumping out informational driving aids like websites, DVDs and day-long events.

To make sure that your teen is adequately prepared to take on the road, point them in the right direction, right toward one of these handy helpers:

Web sites:

Driving Skills for Life - Ford's teen driving Web site. Find short videos here on safety issues like proper seating position, driver distraction and vehicle dynamics. Games, music and a homemade feel make this site one that teens will feel at home in.

Toyota Teen Driver - Toyota takes a look at teen driving with this interactive site that includes videos, quizes and a downloadable contract for teens to commit to safe driving.

SADD - Students Against Drunk Driving created this site especially for teens, chocked full of good regional info, including events and current statistics. Find plenty of articles, as well as features like a "Prom Took Kit" for safe transportation planning.


Road Skillz - This DVD, aimed at 16-25 novice drivers, takes kids behind the wheel and recreates common accidents while equipping drivers with the real-life skills they'll need to avoid such occurances. Hosted by Indy Racing League Driver Arie Luyendyk Jr., Road Skillz takes the cliche out of instructional driving videos by nixing the scare tactics and yawn-factor, and replacing them with solid, practical advice. (24 minutes, $20)

Driver-Zed - Created by AAA, this DVD was made by teens for teens and features PC interactivity. Experience over 100 live action driving situations - all in the comfort of your computer chair - while gaining valuable experience and garnering useful tips. ($25)


Driver's Edge: This free teen program is one that you'll definitely want to experience. Check out the schedule online to see if they're coming to your town this year and if so, you'll be skidding cars, practicing screeching ABS-enabled stops and learning the ins and outs of under the hood. [Read RTM's review of Driver's Edge here.]