Teen Drivers: What Common Driving Mistakes Are You Making?

Feb 06

Teens have a lot to learn when it comes to driving; who better to learn from than an actual teenager? Everything Driving’s resident teenager, Jailyn, discusses teen driving topics in an effort to help keep other teens safe on the road. This time she covers common driving mistakes:

The crash rate for teenagers is four times higher than drivers of all ages. Teen drivers are not being as safe as they should when driving and they may not even realize what they’re doing wrong. So what mistakes are teens making and how can they be avoided?

According to AAA these are the ten most common mistakes teen drivers make, all of which can lead to accidents:

Photo By Intel Free Press

  1. Taking Unnecessary Risks
  2.  Not Wearing A Seatbelt
  3.  Speeding
  4.  Driving With Friends
  5.  Using A Cell Phone While Driving
  6. Adjusting The Radio
  7.  Driving Late at Night
  8. Drinking  And Driving
  9. Falling Into Peer Pressure
  10. Overconfidence


As a teenager, I have witnessed other teens make these common driving mistakes firsthand. I decided to ask my friends how many of these dangerous mistakes they make while driving, if they knew how dangerous they were, and, if so, why they continue to make them. Here’s what they had to say:

“I adjust the radio and drive late at night. I do this because I like to listen to music so I change the station often. I usually drive at night because I have class or other late night activities.”

-Laura, 17, High School Student, Newbury Park High School

“I make at least eight out of ten of the mistakes listed. I know they may be very dangerous, and illegal. I do them on a daily basis because I believe that I can. I think that if I’m speeding I can control my car, and if I adjust the radio I’m capable of doing so. I do believe that it’s never safe not to wear a seat belt; it’s there to save your life so use it. ”

-Kacey, 18, College Student, Butte College

“I do four of those ten things.  Speeding, driving with friends, adjusting the radio, and driving late. I know that one of those is illegal which is speeding. I do that because I’m usually running behind schedule when I leave anywhere. The other three I participate in are not illegal just can be dangerous.”

-Kellie, 18, College Student, Santa Barbara City College

“I do four out of the ten things. Some aren’t illegal. I don’t feel like changing the radio and driving with friends is dangerous if I continue to pay attention. I drive late at night but that doesn’t mean I am tired. I feel like I am a good enough driver to handle it. I focus and don’t do anything dumb or unnecessary. “

-Marissa, 17, High School Student,  Adolfo Camarillo High School

I was shocked hearing these responses from people that I ride around with frequently. It has become clear to me how reckless teen drivers can be. I also learned that many young drivers feel that if something isn’t illegal they are free to do it. Young drivers are making dangerous mistakes behind the wheel, and, most of the time, they do it knowingly.

Hopefully by making teen drivers more aware of their mistakes we can help them avoid making them in the future. I encourage all teenagers to keep these common driving mistakes in mind. The next time you see your friend using their phone or messing with the radio while driving, be sure let them know that not only are they putting themselves in danger, but they are also endangering your life.

Any teens that want to learn more about safe driving practices can visit us at EverythingDriving.com. Also, make sure to come back and visit us at the blog, where we coverall aspects of safe driving. Want even more? Connect with us on social media to stay up-to-date on everything related to driving!

Jailyn Laue

As Everything Driving's resident teenager, Jailyn writes from the point of view of a teen driver.

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