In Phoenix, safe driving ranks right along with the national average. In the 2013 Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report, Phoenix landed 71 on the list of 200 large cities. According to the report, the average driver in Phoenix will experience an auto collision every 10 years.
When it comes to teen drivers, though, car accidents are more prevalent for 16- to 19-year-olds than in any other age group, nationally. To help keep your teen drivers safe in Phoenix, check out these local driving resources.
Know the laws. In Phoenix, teens must complete 30 hours of behind-the-wheel, supervised practice (10 of which are at night) before they can apply for a Graduated Driver License, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT). Teens also have to be aware of who’s riding along with them. According to the ADOT, a teen with a Graduated Driver License cannot drive with another passenger under the age of 18 on a public highway unless they are the teen driver’s siblings or the teen is accompanied by a parent. Read on for more local laws that are important to know.
Impose your own rules. Many teen drivers get into accidents between 9 p.m. and midnight, according to Phoenix Children’s Hospital. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends cutting a late-night accident off at the pass by forbidding night driving for at least six months after a teen first gets his license. Even if a local law isn’t in place, you can set your own limits for you teen driver.
Sign up for drivers’ ed. DrivingMBA is a local company with three different teen drivers’ education packages—pre-permit, permit and licensed drivers. It’s the only driver education program with a teen-specific course combining classroom, simulation and behind-the-wheel training in Arizona, according to the DrivingMBA website. There are three teen programs: one for beginners (24 instructional hours), one for defensive drivers (20.5 instructional hours) and one that includes training for both (35.5 instructional hours).
Track your teen. Would you feel more at ease knowing where your teen is while driving? A GPS vehicle tracking service, available from Youth Driving Safe, may have just what you need. This GPS tracks your teen’s vehicle, and is specially designed with the parents of first-time teen drivers in mind: You can see your teen’s vehicle speed, direction, and location in real-time, and can request a notification when your teen’s car exceeds the speed limit. There’s an initial cost for the setup, which includes a device installed in your teen’s car, then a monthly monitoring fee of about $20.
Keep an eye out for local clinics. The New Driver Car Control Clinic, a nationwide clinic in more than 40 cities around the country, is making its way to Phoenix (future dates to be announced). The clinic consists of a 120-minute discussion about car safety and a four-hour hands-on, behind-the-wheel program that teaches new drivers and their parents what to do should something go awry on the road, such as black ice or an accident. Tuition is about $179 per parent-student team, and the Teen Driver Safety Foundation is offering scholarships for young Phoenix drivers and aid to supporting high schools and school districts, through funding and education.