Our Philosophy

  • Using evidence-based practice in the education of teen drivers is paramount. Driver education methods have not changed in decades. The 30/6 model (30 hours of classroom instruction and 6 hours of behind-the-wheel training) is outdated. We need to teach what we know works not what we think will work. Research has stated for years that the educational process of our novice drivers needs to be revamped. Improved didactics which engage the teen learner along with incorporating the technology now available (such as simulator training) is needed. In addition, increased time behind-the-wheel, a defensive driving component, and increased parental involvement are all necessary according to current research. Parents should demand nothing less.
  • Parental involvement is critical. Our children have been watching us drive since they were in car seats. Have we set a good example? We have made them wear floaters at the pool, helmets when riding a bike, and knee/elbow pads when skate boarding. We spend hours coaching their soccer team and lots of time and money on music lessons, and we don’t think twice about driving them to all of these activities. Why do we cut corners when they embark upon the dangerous activity of driving? We would not expect our child to be a concert pianist after six lessons…why do we think they are ready to drive after six hours of behind-the-wheel training? How careful are we in choosing a driving course for our teen? How much time are we spending in the car with our teen coaching them? Are we monitoring their driving and know where they are and whom they are with? How quickly do we hand over the keys once they are licensed so we no longer have to “be a chauffeur”? This is a question parents have to honestly answer. Parents must play an active role in this process and teens should be able to count on us to help keep them and others safe.


  • Empowering teens to keep themselves and their friends safe will save lives. Arming them with the knowledge and tools they need to practice positive peer pressure, be role models, and to make good decisions regarding their welfare and that of their friends will prevent risk taking behaviors. It is the belief of this program that teens will step up to the challenge! The ART of Driving believes that efforts should be made to change the “mindset” of teens. When they are assisted in realizing and accepting the fact that they are young and inexperienced and therefore at greater risk, we may very well see a difference in these sobering statistics. That is why this organization strives to increase awareness among teens of the unique risks they face and encourages them to be responsible drivers and passengers through our awareness program and “I Promise” pledge. Ashley’s story shows that the “it won’t happen to me” mentality is flawed. If it can happen to Ashley it can happen to any teen. And it is happening, every day at an alarming rate. Graduated driver licensing (GDL) laws that restrict teen drivers have been beneficial. Limiting a teen’s exposure to risks through passenger restrictions and limiting night time driving have shown positive results. Specifically, studies suggest that the toughest of GDL systems are associated with a 38% reduction in teen fatal crashes. However, the GDL laws differ from state to state and are difficult to enforce. Most parents are not well versed as to the content of such laws, therefore not enforcing them with their teen. It is our hope that parents will become familiar with their state’s GDL laws and enforce them with their young driver. Parents should keep in mind that they can set tougher limits than the law! In addition, we hope that all states will toughen their GDL laws and make it easier for law enforcement to carry them out.



The problem with our young drivers is more or less an innate one. It is important to understand where they are developmentally, cognitively, and emotionally. Since we have decided that 16 years old can be licensed to drive in this country then we at least need to understand their limitations and develop ways to hopefully offset them. Truth be known, we should spread out the learning process, give them more time and experience, and delay the driving age. Law makers, parents, and teens all balk at that notion. So, if this is the way it’s going to be lets at least understand the problem.

It is well documented that adolescents do not have the emotional, mental, and physical abilities of an adult. The prefrontal cortex of the brain, which organizes thoughts and makes judgments, is not fully developed until the mid-twenties. What does this mean? Well, decision making, impulse control, multi-tasking, regulations of emotions are all negatively effected. It is easy to see why teens are at risk. All the skills they need to be safe on the road are hindered due to their age! When interviewed teens admitted to driving during periods of emotional highs and lows, using a cell phone, changing a CD, and sending a text all while operating a motor vehicle. Studies at the University of Massachusetts show that teens do not recognize hazardous driving situations. This all comes with maturation. On top of this they lack driving experience; they have a relatively low repertoire of driving experiences upon which to draw. Is it no wonder we have a national health crisis in this nation? Our teens are not necessarily careless, there’re clueless.