13:40 PM

Is your young driver ready for the road?

There’s a new driver in the house.

One of the most exciting times for teens is the day they receive their license to drive. It represents freedom, flexibility, and independence. Most of us can relate to the joy of driving our friends to the movies or the local hang-out. It’s great fun, and many teens see driving as a right. When, in fact, it’s a privilege with serious responsibilities.

How do you know if your teen is ready to drive?

When it's time to teach your teenager to drive, parents should begin by taking the time to see that their teen is knowledgeable about and comfortable with the vehicle and its controls. 

Before you hit the road, start by training your teen on the basics: demonstrate how to adjust the seat and the side and rearview mirrors safely to fit their needs. Make any other accommodations that are necessary, such as tilting the steering wheel.

Take a few minutes to review the vehicle controls and demonstrate how each of these works: dashboard controls, steering wheel and seat adjustment, mirror adjustment, turn signals, headlights, safety features like air bags and seat belts, wipers, emergency lights, parking brake/release, starting/turning off the engine, gas and brake pedals, warning indicator lights on dashboard, and don’t forget to show your teen where the registration, insurance card and car manual are located.

For teens, dialing a phone while driving increases crash risk by six times and texting while driving increases crash risk by 23 times.


According to the State Farm’s 2023 Distracted Driving Survey:

Percentage of Drivers Who Manually Interact with Cell Phones While Driving - By years licensed

Respondents with less driving experience were more likely to report manually interacting with their cell phones while driving compared to drivers who had been licensed longer. And drivers who had been licensed from five years or less were significantly more likely to use smartphone apps, record videos, and watch videos while driving compared to drivers who had been licensed more than 10 years.

Here are a few TIPS of what you can do before letting your teenager get behind the wheel:

  1. Talk to your teen about the rules and responsibilities involved in driving.

    1. Share stories about distracted driving
    2. Let them know their full attention is essential
  2. Be a good role model by delivering consistent messages:

    1. Buckle up!
    2. Hands on the wheel and eyes on the road at all times.
    3. Before letting your teenager get behind the wheel, go over this driver skills checklist.

      1. Teen Driving-101

Experienced drivers know driving at night is more difficult than during the day.

Percentage of Drivers Who Experienced These Situations - When First Learning to Drive

More than half of the State Farm survey respondents did not have nighttime driving practice when they were learning to drive and nearly half did not feel they had sufficient driving practice overall before getting a license. One quarter of respondents admitted to driving a car before they were legally able to do so.

Other important tips:

  1. Make sure your young driver gets some night-driving experience so you’re both more comfortable with evening outings.
  2. Learn about your state’s graduated driver licensing laws. GDL


About State Farm®:

For over 100 years, the mission of State Farm has been to help people manage the risks of everyday life, recover from the unexpected and realize their dreams. State Farm and its affiliates are the largest providers of auto and home insurance in the United States. Its more than 19,400 agents and 67,000 employees serve over 91 million policies and accounts – including auto, fire, lifehealth, commercial policies and financial services accounts. Commercial auto insurance, along with coverage for rentersbusiness ownersboats and motorcycles, is also available. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 44 on the 2023 Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit

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