As a parent of a 16-year-old daughter, this summer brings a new experience. Yes, Hannah passed her driver’s exam in April and she is free to drive on her own. This means she can drive herself to work, volleyball practice, and cart around her 10-year-old sister.
While this new-found freedom is enjoyed by Hannah, as well as by my wife and me, there is reason for concern. Many of us think winter months are the most dangerous for new teen drivers. While conditions may be adverse, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s data suggests that summer months (June, July, and August) have the highest number of teen driver fatalities. Why, you may ask? The answer is simple: Teens are out of school and spending more time on our roadways going to parties, work, friends’ homes, and joyriding.
Parental involvement is one key way you can help protect your teen drivers. Consider setting rules, signing a parent teen driving contract, and being a good example. Ford Motor Company recently released a study that shows teens learn by example. If you drive distracted (texting, eating, grooming), you can expect your teens to do the same.
To view the results of Ford’s study, click here.
Another way to help protect them is to enroll them in Road America’s Teen Driving School sponsored by West Bend. Road America’s Teen Driving School is an advanced driving school that focuses on skills not taught in driver’s education, such as:
1. Skid prevention and control;
2. ABS vs. threshold braking;
3. Collision avoidance maneuvers;
4. Car control fundamentals; and
5. Proper vision skills.
This program is conducted by professional driving instructors in a very safe environment. Participants are accompanied in the vehicle by a professional driving instructor who has access to emergency braking.
This program is offered several times during the year at Road America in Elkhart Lake, WI. It runs from 9:00am to 4:00pm CST.
To learn more about this program or to register your teen driver, visit
The program’s retail price is $250; however, because of West Bend’s sponsorship, the price is $80 for the general public and $50 for West Bend policyholders. If you’re a West Bend policyholder, you’ll need a promo code to receive the discounted price. Please select “Contact Us” at the top of this page and complete the form. Please include your policy number in the message box.
If you have any questions, select “Contact Us” at the top of the page or call Road America at 800-365-7223.