How to Tell When Your Kid Is Ready to Drive Alone

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Author's Note: How to Tell When Your Kid Is Ready to Drive Alone

My first thought when I saw the title of this article was, "It's easy. Look for 30 candles on her birthday cake." I myself was a terrible teen driver, and I dread the day my daughter gets her license. In the course of my research, though (and it is amazing how many teen-driving resources are out there), I did start to feel somewhat less helpless about it, because I learned that my parents, wonderful as they were and are, did a lot of things "wrong" in this context. I came away understanding that their choices about my driving may have affected my choices behind the wheel. And my choices may affect my daughter's. So I hope this article leaves anxious parents feeling more empowered – and nonchalant ones more afraid. It is nothing short of a miracle that I made it to 17.

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  • Bosari, Jessica. "5 Signs Your Teen is Ready for a Car." Forbes. March 22, 2012. (Oct. 15, 2013)
  • Centers for Disease Control. "Parent-Teen Driving Agreement." (Oct. 24, 2013)
  • The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "New Study Pinpoints What Happens Right Before Teens Crash." April 11, 2011. (Oct. 15, 2013)
  • Doheny, Kathleen. "Car Tracking Devices for Teen Drivers." Edmunds. May 23, 2013. (Oct. 20, 2013)
  • Governors Highway Safety Administration. "Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) Laws." October 2013. (Oct. 21, 2013)
  • Linn, Allison. "Endangered Species? Why Fewer Teens Are Driving." CNBC. July 12, 2013. (Oct. 31, 2013).
  • McBride, Hugh C. "A Matter of Maturity: Is Your Teen Ready to Get Behind the Wheel?" Aspen Education Group. (Oct. 18, 2013)
  • National Institutes of Health. "Preventing Teen Motor Crashes: Characteristics of Adolescence That Can Affect Driving." 2007. (Oct. 18, 2013)
  • Shute, Nancy. "Parents Keep Teen Drivers Safe When They Control the Car Keys." U.S. News & World Report. Sept. 28, 2009. (Oct. 24, 2013)
  • Teen Driver Source. "Developing Driving Skills." (Oct. 15, 2013)
  • Teen Driver Source. "Comprehensive Graduated Driver Licensing: General Statistics." (Oct. 30, 2013)
  • Teen Driver Source. "Is Your Teen Ready to Drive Alone?" (Oct. 15, 2013)
  • Texting and Driving Safety. "DWI: Driving While Intexticated." (Oct. 20, 2013)

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