Beyond Driver's Education: Additional Programs Teach Teen Driver Safety

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Despite driver education programs, and graduated license requirements, car crashes continue to be the number one cause of death in teenagers. Many teens can benefit from additional training beyond drivers education and parental instruction to help them learn more about the dangers of the road. Enroll your teen in additional training and education classes to reduce your teen’s risk of getting into a car accident.

UPS Road Code

When statistics showed increased deaths in teen drivers, UPS and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America teamed up to establish the UPS Road Code. The program, which is taught by a UPS driver in conjunction with other volunteers, provides teens with much of the same instruction given to UPS drivers, who are known for their safe driving techniques.

Teens who attend the program receive a combination of classroom instruction and opportunities to use a virtual driving simulator. The program focuses on safety principles, from basic driving techniques to the consequences of distracted driving. Teens are able to see first-hand what happens when they talk on cell phones, text, or eat while driving.

The UPS Road Code is available at select Boys and Girls Clubs throughout the country. Free community events are also offered nationwide to give teens an opportunity to use the driving simulator.

Participants also have an opportunity to sign a petition that pledges to make the roads safe by avoiding distractions while driving.

Alive at 25

Alive at 25 is a 4 ½ hour driver’s awareness course designed by the National Safety Council for drivers between the ages of 15 and 24. The program teaches defensive driving techniques, decision-making skills, and responsibility-taking.

The program uses workbooks, classroom instruction, discussions, and role playing to help teens gain awareness about the importance of staying safe while driving. The program helps teens understand the risks and potential consequences of risky behavior. Alive at 25 is taught by various professionals, such as driver education instructors and off-duty law enforcement officers and is offered in many areas throughout the country.


The B.R.A.K.E.S program, which stands for Be Responsible and Keep Everyone Safe, was started by NHRA drag racing star Doug Herbert who lost his two young sons in a highway accident in 1998. The tragedy inspired him to prevent other families from experiencing similar heartache and he started a program to teach inexperienced drivers to be more conscientious behind the wheel.

B.R.A.K.E.S. teaches practical skills, such as how to brake in an emergency and how to regain control in icy or wet road conditions. It is held in select communities throughout the United States for teens between the ages of 15 and 19.

It’s a four hour course that can make some teens eligible for reduced insurance rates.


teenSmart is an at-home program that teaches driver safety through computer software, workbooks, and DVDs. The program focuses on the 6 factors that cause more than 90% of all teen collisions by teaching skills and education about the importance of visual search, hazard detection, speed adjustment, space management, risk perception, and lifestyle issues.

The program offers computer-based driving tutorials to help teens practice specific driving skills. There are also parent-teen activities that include in-car exercises for teens to practice under parental supervision. Teens who successfully complete the program may be eligible for discounts on their car insurance.

Other Resources

Many local communities offer defensive driving programs specifically targeted for teens. Many of these programs offer specific training and skills beyond those that are taught in driver’s education courses.

Most vehicle insurance companies offer teen driving safety programs as well. Contact your insurance company to inquire about programs that may be available for teen drivers.

American Family Insurance, for example, offers a Teen Safe Driver Program that provides families with a variety of online tools and videos, as well as in-car technology. The in-car technology is a sensor installed near the review mirror of a teen’s vehicle that records the sights and sounds inside and outside of a vehicle when movement, such as swerving, hard braking, and sudden acceleration. The footage is automatically sent to professional driving coaches to review the footage. Parents are provided with a weekly report card and assessment of their teen’s performance.

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