Teen driving safety: Common mistakes new drivers make

Several behaviors, distractions pose dangers to young drivers

Driver's training lessons have become less popular among teenagers these days, but there are still many teens learning to drive and getting their licenses. Here are common mistakes that new drivers make.

Fewer and fewer teenagers are prioritizing taking driver’s training and getting their driver’s licenses right when they turn 16.

But teens are certainly still on the road, and there are some mistakes new drivers make that could endanger their lives.

If you think back to the excitement of driving school, you might remember “10 and two,” and you might remember who has the right of way -- but you might not remember every detail your instructor taught you.

We sat down with local driving instructor Todd Heck and asked him about the common mistakes young drivers make. Heck said some of the most common mistakes include reactive driving instead of proactive driving, not paying attention to what’s coming up ahead and what’s happening behind them and distractions in the car -- which include friends and cell phone use.

“Just by picking up a cell phone, a teenager is six times more likely to get in an accident,” Heck said. “If they actually text while driving, it’s 23 times (more likely).

“Just by having one person in the car with you, you have over a 44% chance of getting in an accident,” Heck said. “Now, if you get three people in the car, that number quadruples.”

Watch the full report in the video player above.

Where’s the drive? Teens delaying driver’s training

For many adults, they remember how taking driver’s training and getting their driver’s license was a rite of passage, a major milestone in their young adult years.

Nowadays, getting a driver’s license doesn’t seem as important as it used to be. At least, not to the youngest generation of drivers.

Many teens are now delaying their driving lessons for a number of reasons, which include already having others -- friends or parents -- to drive them around, or due to the desire not to drive in general.

“Honestly, (it’s) because all their friends drive, so they just carpool with their friends,” said Ava Barbat, a new driver taking lessons at Official Driving School. “They rely on their parents, and they don’t really care for the driving in a sort of way.”

Watch the complete report in the video player below.

Getting a license when you're 16 years old just isn't what it used to be -- fewer and fewer teenagers are going to driver's training and prioritizing getting their license.

Related: Digital license plates are now for sale in Michigan: Here’s what they can do and how much they cost


About the Author:

Nick joined the Local 4 team in February of 2015. Prior to that he spent 6 years in Sacramento covering a long list of big stories including wildfires and earthquakes. Raised in Sterling Heights, he is no stranger to the deep history and pride Detroit has to offer.